How a West African language becomes North African, and vice versa

2021 ◽  
Vol 0 (0) ◽  
Lameen Souag

Abstract Updating the methodology of Hayward, Richard J. 1991. A propos patterns of lexicalization in the Ethiopian language area. In Daniela Mendel & Ulrike Claudi (eds.), Ägypten im afroorientalischen Kontext. Special issue of Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere, 139–156. Cologne: Institute of African Studies, using the concept of colexification (François, Alexandre. 2008. Semantic maps and the typology of colexification: Intertwining polysemous networks across languages. In Martine Vanhove (ed.), Studies in language companion series, vol. 106, 163–215. Amsterdam: John Benjamins), this paper, for the first time, provides quantitative evidence that the languages of the West African Sahel/Savanna form a lexical-typological language area characterised by shared colexifications absent further north. It then uses the linguistic comparative method to determine how languages entering or leaving this area, or coming into increasing contact with it at its edges, have converged with their new neighbours within the past millennium. The results indicate sharp differences in the respective roles and rates of borrowing and calquing, with the latter acting almost exclusively to increase shared colexifications.

1963 ◽  
Vol 6 (03) ◽  
pp. 30-31
Joseph Greenberg

The Third West African Languages Congress took place in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from March 26 to April 1, 1963. This was the third of the annual meetings of those interested in West African languages sponsored by the West African Languages Survey, previous meetings having been held in Accra (1961) and Dakar (1962). The West African Languages Survey is a Ford Foundation project. Additional financial assistance from UNESCO and other sources contributed materially to the scope and success of the meeting. This meeting was larger than previous ones both in attendance and in number of papers presented and, it may be said, in regard to the scientific level of the papers presented. The official participants, seventy-two in number, came from virtually every country in West Africa, from Western European countries and from the United States. The linguistic theme of the meeting was the syntax of West African languages, and a substantial portion of the papers presented were on this topic. In addition, there was for the first time at these meetings a symposium on the teaching of English, French and African languages in Africa. The papers of this symposium will be published in the forthcoming series of monographs planned as a supplement to the new Journal of West African Languages. The other papers are to appear in the Journal of African Languages edited by Jack Berry of the School of Oriental and African Studies.

1969 ◽  
Vol 12 (01) ◽  
pp. 81-89
H. M. Feinberg

This article is a supplement to a previous article on the same subject published in the African Studies Bulletin. Before I list further citations omitted from Materials for West African History in the Archives of Belgium and Holland, I will discuss, in some detail, the nature of the archival material deposited in the Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague. I will attempt to enhance the brief discussions of Miss Carson while avoiding repetition of statements which seem clear and/or are adequately discussed in her book. The General State Archives, The Hague, includes two major collections of interest to the West African historian: the Archives of the West India Companies and the Archives of the Netherlands Settlements on the Guinea Coast. Initially, one must realize that most of the seventeenth-century papers of both collections have been lost or destroyed, and that as a consequence there are many gaps among the existing manuscripts. For example, volume 81 (1658-1709) of the Archives of the Netherlands Settlements on the Guinea Coast includes only manuscripts for the following times: December 25, 1658-June 12, 1660; August, 1693; and October 12-December 31, 1709. Also, most of the seventeenth-century material is written in script, whereas the eighteenth-century manuscripts, with some exceptions, are in more conventional hand-writings.

2002 ◽  
Vol 10 (1-2) ◽  
pp. 27-55 ◽  
Felix K. Ameka

Different languages present a variety of ways of talking about emotional experience. Very commonly, feelings are described through the use of ‘body image constructions’ in which they are associated with processes in, or states of, specific body parts. The emotions and the body parts that are thought to be their locus and the kind of activity associated with these body parts vary cross-culturally. This study focuses on the meaning of three ‘body image constructions’ used to describe feelings similar to, but also different from, English ‘jealousy’, ‘envy’, and ‘covetousness’ in the West African language Ewe. It is demonstrated that a ‘moving body’, a pychologised eye, and red eyes are scripted for these feelings. It is argued that the expressions are not figurative and that their semantics provide good clues to understanding the cultural construction of emotions both emotions and the body.

1970 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
pp. 137-138
L. P. Hartzler

This two-day conference, sponsored by Stanford's Committee on African Studies, was possibly the first gathering of its kind outside Liberia since the American Colonisation Society ceased sending emigrants to the West African Republic at the turn of the century. It was organised by Dr Martin Lowenkopf, and was attended by over 40 social scientists, including six Liberians at present studying in the United States.

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