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Title: A comparative-historical study of the Manenguba languages (Bantu A.15, Mbo cluster) of Cameroon
Author: Hedinger, Robert
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1984
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The Manenguba languages are a group of closely related Bantu languages spoken on the north-western edge of the Bantu area. The main goals of this study are to reconstruct Proto-Manenguba (PM) from which the present day languages have developed and to examine how they are related to each other. In chapter two, the correspondences for consonants, vowels and tones are established and oroto-phonemes proposed. In chapter three, the sound changes that have apparently taken place between PM and the different languages are presented and discussed. Several diagrams are included to highlight the kinds of splits and mergers that have occurred. Chapter four is devoted to a comparison and partial reconstruction of the morphology of the noun class and concord system. In chapter five, PM roots are compared with Proto-Bantu (PB) reconstructions in order to examine the sound correspondences between the two proto-languages. Special attention is given to the apparent double reflexes of voiceless PB stops in North West Bantu languages which have recently been attributed to a former lenis/non-lenis distinction. Apparent non-procductive morphophonemic alternations In one of the languages (Akoose) are brought to light involving reflexes of the above stops, although we are not able to provide a satisfactory answer as to their origin. Chapter six is concerned with the classification of the Manenguba languages. Previous classifications and some recent lexicostatistical classifications are surveyed. We then present and discuss our own lexicostatistical sub-grouping of the Manenguba languages plus their relationship to some adjacent languages. This classification is then related to the previous classifications and to shared sound and morphological changes established in chapters three and four. The data on which the main part of this study is based is appended comprising some 700 comparative word lists from fourteen languages/dialects. Also included where possible are PB and proposed PM reconstructions of the lexical items.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral