ERIC Number: ED161270
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
Language in Africa: An Introductory Survey.
Gregersen, Edgar A.
This is the first comprehensive study in English of African languages in the context of their cultural setting. It may be used as a basic text in survey courses on African languages as well as a supplemental text in practical language courses. No linguistic background is necessary for understanding this book--the basic concepts are explained, including phonology. morphology, and syntax, in the introductory chapters. Historical perspectives are discussed in terms of historical linguistics, language classification and history of work written on African languages. A brief survey of the language phyla in Africa, following Joseph Greenberg's scheme, is presented, and significant work on the groups is outlined. Historical reconstructions based on linguistic data are considered in terms of migration theories. The languages are also discussed in terms of the relationship to the lives, thoughts, and cultures of the people who speak them. The practical problems that confront emerging nations, such as the creation of national languages and language standardization, are discussed in the light of recent pedagogical findings. The problems of language policy and planning are discussed as consequences of independence for African countries and the spread of Western education. Appended are a list of African languages with a million or more speakers, Greenberg's classification, and a bibliography. (Author/NCR)
Descriptors: African Culture, African Languages, Anthropological Linguistics, Cultural Context, Cultural Interrelationships, Culture Contact, Developing Nations, Diachronic Linguistics, Grammar, Instructional Materials, Language Classification, Language Instruction, Language Patterns, Language Planning, Language Standardization, Morphology (Languages), Phonology, Psycholinguistics, Regional Dialects, Sociolinguistics, Syntax, Textbooks, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, Inc., One Park Avenue, New York, New York 10016 ($19.50)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A