Anywa Language

Anywa Language

Anywa Language

ISBN 978-3-927620-73-5

Anywa Language

Description and Internal Reconstructions

Author: Mechthild Reh. Series edited by: M. Lionel Bender †, Franz Rottland †.

Series: NISA Nilo-Saharan – Studies in Language and Context Volume 11

19 pp. Roman, 575 pp.
1 map, 46 tables, appendix: author index, language index, subject index
Text language(s): English
Format: 160 x 240 mm
940 g
€ 98.00

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The present work is a detailed phonological, morphological, syntactic, and text-oriented description of Anywa (Anywak), a western Nilotic language related to Shilluk and spoken in Ethiopia and Sudan along the rivers Sobat, Baro, Gelo, and Akobo. It used to be spoken by about 200,000 people, whereas more recent estimations state only 100,000 speakers anymore. The synchronic analysis is supplemented by internal reconstructions revealing the relative time depth and the specific paths of development of various grammatical features.

Typologists will find Anywa particularly interesting, since it belongs to the split-ergative languages, a language type considered for a long time absent in Africa. The book is complemented by an appendix of 55 pages containing Anywa texts with both word-by-word and free translations and by various indices.

By the author a compact dictionary of Anywa/Anywak was published in the same series, as well as further contributions:

Accompanying material:



Reh’s book covers most aspects of the structure of Anywa. [Her] book is a great achievement in the study of Anywa and an important contribution to the study of Western Nilotic in general. Firstly, it constitutes the first full-scale description of Anywa, and it contains numerous insightful observations and discussions, some if which correct earlier held views on the structure of this language. Secondly, it makes valuable contributions to the debate on the historical development of the Western Nilotic languages.

Torben Andersen in Afrika und Übersee, 82 (1999), 251–253

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