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Language in Africa Vol. 1, No. 4 (2021)


Last Updated: 24 Mar 2021

Editors’ dedicatory note

pp. 5–8
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-5-8


Emprunts syntaxiques du bambara au français: un premier repérage

Gérard Dumestre

Résumé

Contrairement aux emprunts lexicaux, les emprunts syntaxiques du bambara au français n’ont jamais été étudiés. Ce premier repérage, à partir de l’étude de différents textes oraux et écrits, permet de mettre en évidence une dizaine de cas de contamination dont il apparaît que la fréquence est d’autant plus importante qu’il s’agit de traductions du français ou de textes dont le contenu est de type « moderne ». En revanche, dans les textes traditionnels, les emprunts syntaxiques au français sont quasiment absents.

Mots-clés

emprunts syntaxiques, bambara

Syntactic borrowings from Bambara to French: A first account

Gérard Dumestre

Abstract

Unlike lexical borrowings, syntactic borrowings from Bambara to French have never been studied. This first identification, from the study of various oral and written texts, makes it possible to highlight a dozen cases of contamination, the frequency of which appears to be all the more important as these are translations from French, or texts whose content is of the “modern” type. On the other hand, in traditional texts, syntactic borrowings from French are almost absent.

Key words

syntactic borrowings, Bambara
pp. 9–26
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-9-26


Essais d’analyse syntaxique automatique dans Corbama, le Corpus de référence Bambara

Jean-Jacques Méric

Résumé

En s’appuyant sur une boîte à outil bien conçue qui aide à entrer manuellement les éléments d’analyse syntactique d’un corpus textuel en bambara, l’auteur a fait une essai de programmation classique à base de règles. Ce n’est pas une approche conforme à l’état de l’art, mais elle s’est avéré faisable et permet d’avancer en attendant, et de faire face à l’énorme quantité de travail requis.

Mots-clés

bambara, corpus textuel, analyse syntactique

An attempt at automatic synctactic analysis on Corbama, the Bamana reference corpus

Jean-Jacques Méric

Abstract

Building on a well-developed set of tools to help manual editing of syntactic analysis of a Bamana text corpus, the author has made an attempt at rulebased classical programming to automate as much as possible the process. This is not a state-of-the-art approach but it has proved feasible and temporary fi lls a gap in the huge amount of work at hand.

Key words

Bamana, text corpus, syntactic analysis, parsing
pp. 27–42
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-27-42


Антропологический анализ сказок бамана

О.Ю. Завьялова

Аннотация

Данная статья посвящена анализу двух сказки бамана. Так как основная функция сказки – обучение, в ней всегда сокрыты основные нормы культуры, представлены они могут быть как положительными, так и отрицательными моделями поведения. Две сказки, выбранные нами для анализа, представляют отрицательные модели поведения и рассказывают, в частности, о взаимодействии своего и чужого мира. Таким образом, они рассказывают в основном о нарушениях норм как социальных, так и норм взаимодействия с чужим миром. Именно эти нормы мы и постарались определить. Для анализа были взяты сказки «Гиена съела дочь вождя» и «Сказка про охотника и диких зверей».

Ключевые слова

манден, сказка, традиция

An anthropological analysis of Bamana fairy tales

Olga Zavyalova

Abstract

This article is devoted to the analysis of two fairy tales of the Bamana people. Since the main function of a fairy tale is learning, the basic norms of the culture are always hidden in it; they can be presented by positive or negative patterns of behavior. Two fairy tales that were selected for the analysis represent negative patterns of behavior and tell about the interaction of “one’s own” and “somebody else’s” worlds. Thus, they mainly talk about violations of the social norms and the norms of interaction with “somebody else’s” world. It was these norms that I tried to determine. The analyzed fairy tales were “Hyena ate the chief’s daughter” and “Tale about a hunter and wild animals”.

Key words

Manden, fairy tale, tradition
pp. 43–54
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-43-54


Sogolon

Guillaume Segerer, Alexandra Vydrina

Résumé 

Sogolon est le nom de la mère de Soundiata Keita, héros de l’épopée mandingue bien connue. C’est aussi le surnom donné par Valentin Vydrin à sa fille Alexandra, co-auteure de cet article. C’est enfin un terme que l’on rencontre, sous cette forme ou sous une autre, dans quelques dictionnaires de langues d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Nous nous proposons de suivre avec sérieux certaines des pistes possibles au départ de ce mot, ce qui nous conduira à faire quelques hypothèses parfois audacieuses.

Mots-clés

bambara, Mande, chat, lexicologie

Sogolon

Guillaume Segerer, Alexandra Vydrina

Abstract

Sogolon is the name of the mother of Sundiata Keita, the hero of the well-known Mandinka Epic. It is also a surname given by Valentin Vydrin to his daughter Alexandra, co-author of this paper. Finally, it is a word that can be found in a couple of dictionaries of West African languages. Our purpose is to follow some of the tracks that this word opens, which will lead us to unexpected assumptions.

Key words

Bambara, Mande, cat, lexicology

Соголён

Гийом Сежерер, А.В. Выдрина

Аннотация

Соголён – это имя матери Сундьята Кейта, героя известной эпопеи манден. Кроме того, Соголён – это прозвище, которое Валентин Выдрин дал своей дочери Александре, одному из авторов данной статьи. Наконец, это слово встречается, в несколько различающихся между собой формах, в словарях нескольких западноафриканских языков. Мы проследим существующие употребления данного слова, что позволит сделать неожиданные выводы.

Ключевые слова

бамана, манде, кот, лексикология
pp. 55–68
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-55-68


Заметки о регулярной полисемии и омонимии на примере языков манде

К.И. Поздняков

Abstract

В статье на примере языков манде рассматриваются возможности использования регулярной полисемии и регулярной омонимии для решения задач компаративистики и семантической типологии. Исследуются три случая. Регулярная полисемия, отмеченная только в языках манде, может быть использована для семантической реконструкции праманде. Регулярная омонимия, отмеченная только в языках манде, позволяет выделить фонетически близкие или омонимичные корни праманде. Регулярная омонимия, отмеченная не только в языках манде, но и в других ветвях нигер-конго, позволяет установить регулярные фонетические соответствия между языками различных ветвей нигер-конго без промежуточных реконструкций.

Ключевые слова

регулярная полисемия, регулярная омонимия, нигер-конго, семантическая реконструкция, праманде

Notes on regular polysemy and homonymy (Mande languages)

Konstantin Pozdniakov

Abstract

Based on Mande languages as an example, the article examines the possibilities of using regular polysemy and regular homonymy for solving problems of comparative studies and semantic typology. Three cases are investigated. Regular polysemy noted only in Mande languages can be used for semantic reconstruction of Proto-Mande. Regular homonymy, noted only in the Mande languages, makes it possible to distinguish phonetically similar roots of Proto-Mande. Regular homonymy, noted not only in the Mande languages, but also in other branches of the Niger-Congo, makes it possible to discover regular phonetic correspondences between the languages of various branches of the Niger-Congo without any intermediate reconstructions.

Key words

regular polysemy, regular homonymy, Niger-Congo, semantic reconstruction, Proto-Mande
pp. 69–84
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-69-84


The detransitivizing suffix -i and the reconstruction of Pre-Proto-Mande constituent order

Denis Creissels

Abstract

The uniformity and total rigidity of the SOVX constituent order across Mande languages constitutes a typological oddity, which led several scholars to discuss the possibility of analyzing it as historically derived from a typologically more common constituent order. In this article, I show that the hypothesis of a historical link between a detransitivizing suffix -i found in some West Mande languages and a reflexive pronoun reconstructable as í has implications for the reconstruction of Pre-Proto-Mande constituent order.

Key words

Mande, constituent order, reflexive, middle voice
pp. 85–97
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-85-97


Incorporation and “formal incorporation” in analytic languages: Mande languages and typology of incorporation

Alexander Zheltov

Abstract

Although the Mande languages are usually characterized as analytic, they demonstrate a broader spectrum of typological features. For instance, Gban (South Mande) was analyzed as having evident infl ective elements. This paper concerns the phenomenon of incorporation observed in some Mande languages (Mandinka, Tigemaxo, Soninke). It also attempts at attracting attention to the interpretation of some facts which do not suit the defi nition of incorporation but demonstrate some phenomena, to a certain extent, similar to incorporation (Gban, South Mande). The author (very tentatively) uses the term “formal incorporation” for them and offers a new variant of the typology of incorpоration, including it into the broader set of different phenomena. It is worth noting that the paper concentrates on the particular sort of incorporation, i.e., object + verb incorporation.

Key words

Mande, Gban, typology, incorporation, “formal incorporation”
pp. 98–114
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-98-114


Logophoric strategy in San-Maka

Elena Perekhvalskaya

Abstract

The article deals with strategies of coding the participants of communication in reporting dicours in San-Maka (Eastern Mande < Mande < Niger-Congo). San-Maka demonstrates an interesting case wherein 3rd person Sg and Pl pronouns, combined with an emphatic marker sɛ́, are used in a logophoric function. However, this construction is not fully grammaticalized. The combination of the pronouns with the emphatic marker acts in a logophoric function in specific reported speech contexts in the presence of the quotative particle mà ~ mə̀ ~ m’ which occupies the leftmost position of the clause. Different possible interpretations of this strategy are shown, followed by a conclusion about the ongoing formation of the logophoric strategy in San-Maka and the grammaticalization of pronouns with the marker sɛ́ into a specialized logophoric pronoun series.

Key words

reported speech, logophoric strategy, Mande, cluster San / Samo, San-Maka

Логофорическая стратегия в языке сан-мака

Е.В. Перехвальская

Аннотация

В статье рассматриваются стратегии кодирования участников коммуникации при передаче цитированной речи в языке сан-мака (< восточные манде < манде < нигер-конго). Сан-мака демонстрирует интересный случай, когда местоимения третьего лица ед. и мн. числа в сочетании с эмфатическим показателем sɛ́ используются как логофорические. Однако эта конструкция не полностью грамматизирована. Сочетания местоимений 3 лица с эмфатическим показателем используются как логофорические только в контексте передачи цитированной речи в присутствии цитативной частицы mà ~ mə̀ ~ m’, которая занимает в предложении крайнюю левую позицию. Продемонстрированы различные интерпретации этой стратегии, после чего делается вывод о формировании в языке сан-мака логофорической стратегии передачи цитированной речи, а также о грамматикализации эмфатических местоимений 3 лица в специализированную серию логофорических местоимений.

Ключевые слова

репортативная речь, логфорическая стратегия, языки манде, восточные манде, кластер сан/само, язык сан-мака
pp. 115–130
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-115-130


Good nouns, naughty verbs: How French borrowings receive grammatical tones in Guinean Kpelle

Maria Konoshenko

Abstract

The paper discusses how modern French loan nouns and verbs are morphophonologically adapted into Guinean Kpelle (Southwestern Mande), with a special focus on tone. To date, studies of prosodic loanword adaption from stress to tone languages have mainly focused on lexical tone assignment, largely neglecting other phenomena. This study contributes to the discussion by describing primary tone assignment of French loanwords in Guinean Kpelle, and, crucially, by exploring how loan words behave with respect to other complex morphophonological phenomena, mainly, prefixal and replacive grammatical tones, consonant alternations, and surface tone rules. My data suggest that loan nouns perfectly follow native Guinean Kpelle rules, whereas loan verbs have a distinct replacive {HL} morphological marker corresponding to {L} in native verbs. Distinct prosodic marking of loan verbs in Guinean Kpelle broadens our understanding of loanword typology, as well as of grammatical tone.

Key words

Mande, French, sandhi, tone, loanword phonology, replacive tone, downstep
pp. 131–145
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-131-145


Antipassive constructions in Tigemaxo (Bozo)

Thomas Blecke

Abstract

The present paper investigates the grammar of the 2nd argument, the patient-like object, in Tigemaxo, focusing on first-hand data to describe three different antipassive constructions common in this language. The main questions treated are: What are the ways the 2nd argument is expressed, focusing on the structural possibilities to demote or suppress it? Then, looking at alternative morphosyntactic alternations, what motivates the choice of one of these structures over the other? It will be shown that 2nd argument demotion or suppression is common in Tigemaxo, and that one of the AP constructions is motivated by a stylistic effect.

Key words

Mande, anticausative, antipassive, passive, noun incorporation, unexpressed objects, oblique objects, labile verbs
pp. 146–157
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-146-157


Bridging caught in a crossfire: The marker of situated definiteness in Mano and language contact

Maria Khachaturyan

Abstract

In this article, I review the basic semantic functions of the determiner à in the South Mande language Mano, which is used to mark situated definiteness: most prominently, bridging and anaphora. The marker derives from the 3sg pronoun. Similar markers are also used in a number of other South Mande languages, including Kla-Dan, Dan-Gweetaa, Guro, Tura and Gban. In Mano, as well as in the former four languages the head noun takes an optional low-tone head marking, which is more frequent in Mano than in other languages. I argue that the increased frequency of use of the marking is influenced by contact with the Southwest Mande language Kpelle, which has a grammaticalized preposed defi niteness marker, also deriving from a 3sg prefix, and triggering low tone on the noun it attaches to.

Key words

Mande, language contact, definiteness, tonal morphology, linguistic area
pp. 158–182
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-158-182


“Infinitive” class 15 in Dabida

Nadezhda Makeeva, Irina Ryabova

Abstract

The paper deals with the morphosyntactic properties of infinitives in the Dabida language. As in the majority of Bantu languages, Dabida infinitives are allocated to noun class 15 by virtue of their morphological structure, in particular, the nominal prefix ku-. Nevertheless, from the morphosyntactic point of view infi nitives demonstrate a number of nominal and verbal properties that reveal their dual nature. Although these properties are not usually attested in the same ku- form thus contrasting the two uses, there are, however, syntactic positions where both verbal and nominal features are exhibited at once.

Key words

Bantu, Dabida, infinitive, noun classes
pp. 183–198
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-183-198


The best way to drink in Beja and beyond: water and milk

Martine Vanhove, Mohamed-Tahir Hamid Ahmed

Abstract

In the Beja society of the eastern arid zone of Sudan, water and milk are essential beverages for survival, and are also salient elements of the culture as reflected by a rich lexicon. This paper shows how social rules, time intervals, and incompleteness are encoded in monolexemic drinking and milking items, as well as lexical differences based on the animacy hierarchy between humans and animals in the domain of thirst. The structure of the Beja lexicon is compared with that of other African languages, and the Beja social rules related to drinking and milking are illustrated with two anecdotes extracted from oral literature texts.

Key words

Beja, African languages, semantics, lexicon, ingestion, oral literature
pp. 199–211
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-199-211


Версия Ветхого Завета на языке зулу в типологической перспективе

В.Я. Порхомовский, И.С. Рябова

Аннотация

Настоящая статья продолжает типологические исследования стратегий перевода Библии на различные языки. Эти исследования посвящены пассажам и лексемам в каноническом тексте Biblia Hebraica, отражающим древние культурные и религиозные представления, которые не соответствуют более поздним монотеистическим принципам иудаизма и христианства. В каноническом древнееврейском тексте не допускаются никакие изменения. Таким образом, оказываются возможными две стратегии перевода: (1) сохранять эти пассажи в тексте перевода (филологическая стратегия), (2) редактировать эти пассажи в соответствии с монотеистическими принципами (идеологическая стратегия). В центре внимания настоящей работы находится проблема передачи в переводе имени древней семитской богини ’ashera, спутницы верховных богов (’El /’Il/, Ba‘al, YHWH) в некоторых традициях и пантеонах). В различных переводах Библии представлены две традиции передачи имени ’ashera: (1) сохранять имя богини (филологическая стратегия), (2) убирать это имя или заменять его на обозначения ее фетишей и культовых объектов (идеологическая стратегия). В настоящей статье рассматривается передача имени ’ashera в версии Ветхого Завета на языке зулу.

Ключевые слова

Ветхий Завет, стратегии перевода, зулу, богиня ’ashera

The Zulu version of the old testament from a typological perspective

Victor Porkhomovsky, Irina Ryabova

Abstract

The present paper continues typological studies of the Bible translation strategies in different languages. These studies deal with passages and lexemes in the canonical text of the Biblia Hebraica, that refl ect ancient cultural and religious paradigms, but do not correspond to later monotheist principles of Judaism and Christianity. The canonical Hebrew text does not allow of any changes. Thus, two translation strategies are possible: (1) to preserve these passages in the text of the translation (a philological strategy), (2) to edit them according to the monotheist principles (ideological strategy). The focus in the present paper is made on the problem of rendering the name of the ancient Semitic goddess ’ashera, attested as the companion of the supreme gods in certain traditions and pantheons (’El /’Il/, Ba‘al, YHWH). Two strategies of rendering the name of ’ashera are attested in different Bible translations: (1) to preserve the name of the goddess (philological strategy), (2) to eliminate this name or to replace it with the names of her fetishes and sacred objects (ideological strategy). The Zulu case of rendering the name ’ashera is particularly looked at in this paper.

Key words

Old Testament, translation strategies, Zulu, the goddess ’ashera
pp. 212–225
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-212-225


Absolute-relative tense in Old Kanembu: foregrounding by posterior taxis

Dmitry Bondarev

Abstract

Old Kanembu is an extinct Saharan language that survives in annotations to the Qur’anic manuscripts of the 17th to 18th century. The past and future categories of Old Kanembu are absolute-relative tenses with posterior taxis as their orientational mechanism. The posterior location of events in temporal domains is tied up with the communicative goal of guiding the recipient through the complex Qur’anic discourse so that the foreground information and prominent elements are clearly set off against the background events. Similar properties are reported for the past and future tenses in Kanuri and therefore the Old Kanembu data corroborates a previously postulated hypothesis that the past and future in Kanuri are inherently focus categories (Wolff & Löhr 2006). Given that complexity of the Kanuri TAM system – significantly more elaborated than in the other Saharan languages – was triggered by the contact with Chadic languages and that Old Kanembu preserves archaic features going back to the 16th century and beyond, the semantic properties of the Old Kanembu past and future provide additional evidence of early Chadic influence on Kanuri.

Key words

Old Kanembu, Kanuri, West Chadic, information structure, foregrounding, focus, past tense, future tense, absolute-relative tense, taxis
pp. 226–244
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-226-244


Охотник, крокодил и зайка: Пять полевых дней Антонины Ивановны Коваль в 1993 году

А.А. Кибрик

Аннотация

Статья представляет собой комментированную публикацию нескольких сессий полевой работы с информантами, проведенных ведущим африканистом Антониной Ивановной Коваль в 1993 году. Эта работа была связана с подготовкой сказок-полилингвов на разных диалектах и говорах пулар-фульфульде. В ходе работы А.И. Коваль получила два варианта сказки на говоре Dalaba диалекта фута-джаллон и большое количество сопутствующей лингвистической, социолингвистической и другой информации. Характер этой работы, отраженной в публикуемом документе, представляет большой методологический интерес.

Ключевые слова

пулар-фульфульде, диалект фута-джаллон, А.И. Коваль, методология полевой работы

The hunter, the crocodile, and the hare: Five days of Antonina Ivanovna Koval’s field work in 1993

Andrej A. Kibrik

Abstract

This paper is a commented publication of several sessions of field work conducted by the leading African linguist Antonina Ivanovna Koval back in 1993. This work was associated with preparing polylingual tales in different dialects and varieties of Pulaar-Fulfulde. In the course of that work Antonina I. Koval obtained two versions of the tale in the Dalaba variety of the Fuuta-Jaloo dialect, along with a large amount of concomitant linguistic, sociolinguistic and other information. The character of that work, refl ected in the document published herein, is of substantial methodological interest.

Key words

Pulaar-Fulfulde, Fuuta-Jaloo dialect, Antonina I. Koval, methodology of field work
pp. 245–268
doi 10.37892/2686-8946-2020-1-4-245-268