About the harmony disposition of Lelemi affixes

Schwarz, Anne (2007) About the harmony disposition of Lelemi affixes. In: Griefenow-Mewis, Catherine , (ed.) Afrikanische Horizonte: studien zu sprachen, kulturen und zur geschichte. Asien- und Afrika-Studien der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 31 . Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, Germany, pp. 127-139.

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Abstract

[Extract] One of the African languages studied by Hildegard Hoftmann was the Ghanaian Kwa language Lelemi. Being a member of a team of the Institute of African Studies of the Humboldt University of Berlin which conducted research work on the then so-called "remnant languages" (later's Central Togo languages and today's Ghana Togo Mountain languages), she did several months of field research in this language in the 60's, publishing her experiences, methods and results in Hoftmann & Berger 1965, Hoftmann 1966, 1970 and 1971. The interesting features of the language laid out by Hoftmann as weIl as the discussion when consulting her with regard to a selection among the Ghana-Togo Mountain languages led Ines Fiedler and me to follow her path. About 40 years later, we had another look on Lelemi within the frame of the research project on "Focus in Gur and Kwa Languages" which is part of the SFB 632 on Information Structure and directed by Hildegard Hoftmann's former student Brigitte Reineke.

The aim of this paper is to give further insight into the vowel harmonizing properties of Lelemi affixes as it has been well-known for 40 years that "very many of the Kwa languages ( ... ) have vowel harmony of ( ... ) the CROSS-HEIGHT type" (Stewart 1971: 198) which is based on the feature of tongue root advancing, while details for individual languages are often missing. The account given here just represents a minor revision of fanner analyses that however helps to understand some peculiarities in the language and that affects the representation of nominal and verbal prefixes which might be needed for language-external comparison.

Item ID: 17828
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: vowel harmony; Kwa language; verb prefixes
ISBN: 978-3-447-05601-4
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2011 00:25
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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