ERIC Number: ED159892
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1964
The Study of West African Languages.
Armstrong, Robert G.
A fair number of empirical, scholarly studies of West African languages have been published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, the study of West African languages was in these years overtaken and nearly overwhelmed by a racist reaction. In the 1930's linguistics began to assume its substantially modern form and scholars began studying African languages on an equal level with European languages. The relations and interrelations of the languages of West Africa are elaborated on with the intention of dispelling misconceptions about the inferiority of these languages. African languages on the whole are conservative and change very slowly, yet they have become very diverse. Underlying their great diversity, however, there is a fundamental and elaborate unity which, if explored, will contribute to the development of African social and political unity. A serious need exists for the study of West African languages and for the preparation of grammars, dictionaries, and textbooks. An appendix illustrates the network of linguistic relationships in West Africa through 80 English words whose translation glosses form sets of reciprocal cognate reflexes which appear in the basic vocabularies of several languages. (NCR)
Descriptors: African Languages, Contrastive Linguistics, Cultural Interrelationships, Descriptive Linguistics, Diachronic Linguistics, Language Attitudes, Language Role, Second Language Learning, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics, Structural Analysis, Uncommonly Taught Languages, Vocabulary
Publications Officer, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria (Some publications may be out of print)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ibadan Univ. (Nigeria). Inst. of African Studies.
Note: Type size is small throughout