The Bantu Languages of the Kenya Coast

ISBN 978-3-89645-716-5

The Bantu Languages of the Kenya Coast

Aspects of Comparison and Contact

Author: Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig. Series edited by: Bernd Heine, Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig.

Series: East African Languages and Dialects Volume 31

4th quarter 2022
255 pp.
5 colour maps, 57 colour tables, 163 b/w tables
Format: 200 x 280 mm
690 g
Price is not fixed yet.

In the focus of this study are lexical, phonetic, and grammatical data that were mainly collected at the Kenyan coast between the years 1970 and 1990. The corpus consists of about 50,000 lexical entries in the form of tape recordings and written transcriptions based on standardised wordlist of 600 items. These are arranged in ten semantic categories starting from parts of the body, concepts of hygiene, and motions up to terms of quality like big, bad, new etc.

The 600-word list provides sufficient lexical and phonological data to serve all dialectological questions like the definition of dialect centres, dialect boundaries, distances between the local languages and even dialect strata at different historical levels of abstraction. In addition to this material, the basic grammatical features (nominal classes, pronouns, verbal structure) were recorded.

In the Coastal Bantu languages of Kenya, migration and neighbourly contact are the main impulses of linguistic development. The kind of language contact in terms of commercial interests, the social level of the speakers as well as the intensity and duration of contact turn out to be the most decisive parameters of mutual or unilateral influence and finally of individual language formation.

The basic data are here present in three descriptive chapters on phonology (chapter 2), lexicon (chapter 3) and grammar (chapter 4) followed by three analytical chapters according to the different analytical processes of dialectometry (chapter 5), comparative Bantu in a perspective from below (chapter 6) and contact linguistics (chapter 7).

The dialects of Kamba (E.55) have been analyzed in another volume of the same series, see the following link:

Accompanying material:

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