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By Jean-Marie Hombert, Larry M. Hyman

This assortment brings jointly many of the world's major Bantuists, in addition to one of the most promising more youthful students attracted to the historical past, comparability, and outline of Bantu languages. The Bantu languages, numbering as many as 500, were on the heart of state-of-the-art theoretical learn in phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. in addition to the problems of class and inner sub-grouping, this quantity treats ancient and comparative features of some of the major typological beneficial properties for which this language staff is understood: vowel peak concord, noun sessions, intricate tense-aspect structures, and so on. the result's a compilation that gives the main up to date knowing of those and different concerns that may be of curiosity not just to Bantuists and historic linguists, but in addition to these drawn to the phonological, morphological and semantic matters bobbing up inside those hugely agglutinative Bantu languages.

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Evidence for some processes above often comes from just a few lexemes which in a small group might all be loans. The distribution of Dahl's Law suggests that the following groups shared a single ancestor, or at least that their ancestral communities were adjacent, in East Africa: WT, CK, GL, KT, NEC, and probably STH. g. 42) and elsewhere has to be considered more fully when a detailed historical classification of languages outside East Africa is carried out. 26 Derek Nurse distribution of Meinhof s Law suggests the same grouping, without, or with a question mark next to, STH—see footnote 10).

Another is that its concentration on larger groups means that it pays little attention to the smaller marginal groups. A third is that its phonological criteria are arbitrarily asserted rather than properly discussed. This study suggests some directions for future work. One would investigate what processes can be demonstrated to spread or have spread by diffusion. A second would refine the set of criteria. 10, Langi-Mbugwe, Kilombero, Gungu, Bwisi, Syan, the Rwenzori languages, and isolates such as Mwera2 (Mbamba Bay on Lake Tanganyika in SW Tanzania) and Wungu (Nurse 1988:51-53, Labroussi this volume).

3. Results: A subclassification of the Savanna-Bantu group From the distributional analysis of stem morphemes, undertaken in accordance with the conditions and criteria described above, a historical sequence of successively narrower Bantu subgroups can be depicted. The deepest genetic group established in this initial stage of investigation can be called "Savanna-Bantu" (see Table 1 for the supporting stem morpheme innovations). It is a grouping of immensely wide geographical spread, covering three-quarters or more of the Bantu-speaking territories of Africa.

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