Early invitation for CALL workshop presentations

Joseph Lovestrand has sent the following message:

An online workshop on the theme “Words in Chadic languages: Phonology and morphosyntax” is being organized for August 29, 2022 in conjunction with the Colloquium on African Languages and Linguistics 2022.

Anyone who would like to contribute a presentation can express interest by emailing Joseph Lovestrand: jl119@soas.ac.uk

Planned participants include:

Théodore Bebey (University of Maroua)
Adam Mahmat (University of Maroua)
Hamidou Bappa (University of Maroua)
Ousmanou (University of Yaounde 1)
Mélanie Viljoen (SIL)
Joseph Lovestrand (SOAS University of London)
Ndokobai Dadak (SIL)
H. Ekkehard Wolff (Leipzig University)
Shannon Yee (SIL)
Sakine Ramat (FAPLN)

Words in Chadic languages: phonology and morphosyntax

Chadic languages have long been of interest to phonologists, in particular in regard to word prosodies: cases of vowel and consonant harmony in which phonological features are spread across an entire word (Lionnet & Hyman 2018: 633–646; Wolff 2021: 55–61). The most extreme cases of word prosodies are found in Central Chadic languages, while less extreme examples of phonological feature sharing are common throughout the language family (Pearce & Lovestrand forthcoming). Chadic languages also tend to have complex morphology, in particular in the verbal system where pronominal markers and other verbal morphemes (often called “extensions”) may have ambiguous status in regard to whether they are part of the verb (i.e., suffixes) or not (i.e., particles) (Jungraithmayr & Tourneux 1987). Since Chadic languages have both complex morphology and phonological processes that extend across a domain associated with wordhood, they are likely to exhibit patterns of conflicting criteria for wordhood of the type that has raised questions about the theoretical validity of wordhood and the morphology-syntax divide more generally (Tallman 2020). Of particular interest are cases where the domain of prosody or harmony does not match morphosyntactic criteria for wordhood, however, presentations on aspects of the phonology or morphology of Chadic languages will also be included in the workshop.

  • Jungraithmayr, Herrmann & Henry Tourneux (eds.). 1987. Etudes tchadiques, Classes et extensions verbales. Paris: Geuthner.
  • Lionnet, Florian & Larry M Hyman. 2018. Current issues in African phonology. In Tom Güldemann (ed.), The languages and linguistics of Africa, 602–708. De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Pearce, Mary & Joseph Lovestrand. forthcoming. Vowel harmony in Chadic languages. In Harry van der Hulst & Nancy Ritter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Vowel Harmony. Oxford University Press.
  • Tallman, Adam J. R. 2020. Beyond grammatical and phonological words. Language and Linguistics Compass 14(2).
  • Wolff, H. Ekkehard. 2021. Historical phonology of Central Chadic: Prosodies and lexical reconstruction. Cambridge Univ Press.

New Publication: The Phonology of Proto-Central Chadic

Richard Gravina‘s PhD thesis on The Phonology of Proto-Central Chadic has recently been published by LOT. It is available online at https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/30139.

The summary found there says:

The Central Chadic languages are a diverse and fascinating collection of languages, spoken in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad. The phonologies of these languages have intrigued linguists since they were first studied, due to their minimal sets of phonemic vowels (sometimes only one), complex systems of vowel harmony, and extensive use of palatalized and labialized consonants. Analysis of these languages led to the proposal of phonemic units referred to as ‘prosodies’, which act on both vowels and consonants, allowing Central Chadic phonologies to be described in a neat and succinct way. This study looks at the diverse phonological systems found within Central Chadic, and reconstructs the phonological system of their ancestor language. This system is itself simple and succinct, and includes one phonemic prosody and just three phonemic vowels. The study describes the phonological processes that led from this system to the many phonological systems that are in use today, shedding light both on the history of the languages, and on issues in the analysis of these languages.

Alongside the publication, there is a website giving 250 reconstructions within Central Chadic with full data. This can be found at http://centralchadic.webonary.org/.

Studies in African Linguistics online

Studies in African Linguistics is one of the journals where a number of articles on Chadic languages and linguistics have appeared. It is now possible to read these articles online and download them. Here is what can be found:

  • Dauda Muhammad Bagari 1971. Lexical hypothesis and Hausa. PDF
  • John Bryson Eulenberg 1971. A New Look at the Predicating Particles in Hausa. PDF
  • Charles H. Kraft 1971. A note on lateral fricatives in Chadic.  PDF
  • Paul Newman 1971. The Hausa negative markers.  PDF
  • N. Pilszczikowa-Chodak 1972. Tone-vowel height correlation and tone assignment in the patterns of verb and noun plurals in Hausa. PDF
  • Russell G. Schuh 1972. Rule Inversion in Chadic.  PDF
  • Paul Newman 1973. Grades, vowel-tone classes and extensions in the Hausa verbal system.  PDF
  • William R. Leben 1974. Rule inversion in Chadic: A reply. PDF
  • William R. Leben, Dauda M. Bagari 1975. A note on the base form of the Hausa verb. PDF
  • Paul Newman 1975. The non-correlation of tone and vowel height in Hausa. PDF
  • Nina Pilszczikowa-Chodak 1975. On the correlation of tone and vowel height in Hausa.  PDF
  • Zygmunt Frajzyngier 1976. Rule inversion in Chadic: an explanation.  PDF
  • Linda Dresel 1977. Some phonological aspects of the aquisition of Hausa. PDF
  • Karen H Ebert 1977. Some aspects of the Kera Verbal Structure. PDF
  • Zygmunt Frajzyngier 1977. On the intransitive copy pronouns in Chadic. PDF
  • Patrick McConvell 1977. Relativisation and the ordering of cross-reference rules in Hausa. PDF
  • Paul Newman 1977. Chadic extensions and pre-dative verb forms in Hausa. PDF
  • Philip Jaggar 1978. And what about…?’ – topicalization in Hausa. PDF
  • Paul Newman 1979. Explaining Hausa feminines. PDF
  • Zygmunt Frajzyngier 1980. The vowel system of Pero. PDF
  • Linda Hunter 1980. Stress in Hausa: an experimental study. PDF
  • Bello Ahmad Salim 1980. A note on the Hausa voiceless labials.  PDF
  • Stephen C. Anderson, Jeanette Swackhamer 1981. From Consonants to downstep in Podoko. PDF
  • Donald A. Burquest 1981. Evidence for object-verb ordering in Chadic. PDF
  • Graham Furniss 1981. Hausa disyllabic verbs: comments on base forms and extensions. PDF 
  • Donald G. Churma 1982. Rule inversion in Chadic: a closer look. PDF
  • Russell G. Schuh 1983. Kilba equational sentences. PDF
  • Paul Newman 1984. Ethonyms in Hausa. PDF
  • Mona Lindau-Webb 1985. Hausa vowels and dipthongs. PDF
  • Paul Newman 1986. Tone and affixation in Hausa. PDF
  • Philip J Jaggar 1988. Restrictive vs non-restrictive relative clauses in Hausa: where morphosyntax and semantics meet. PDF
  • Russell G. Schuh 1989. The reality of Hausa “low tone raising”; a response to Newman & Jaggar. PDF
  • Donald A. Burquest 1989. A note on Hausa plurals. PDF
  • Paul Newman, Philip J. Jaggar 1989. Low tone raising in Hausa: a critical assessment. PDF
  • Linda Schwartz 1989. Thematic linking in Hausa assymetric coordination. PDF
  • Paul Newman 1990. Internal evidence for final vowel lowering in Hausa. PDF
  • Bernard Tranel 1994. Tone sandhi and vowel deletion in Margi. PDF
  • William R Leben 1996. Tonal feet and the adaptation of English borrowing into Hausa. PDF
  • Aaron Shryock 1997. The classification of the Masa group of languages.  PDF
  • Russell G. Schuh 2002. Palatalization in West Chadic. PDF
  • Mahaman B Attouman 2009. Emplois et valeurs des marqueurs wáy et mànà en hawsa. PDF

The Phonology of Two Central Chadic Languages

A new book on the phonologies of the Central Chadic languages Muyang and Mbuko by Tony Smith and Richard Gravina has been published by SIL International. Here is a description of the book found at Amazon.com:

These two phonologies of the Chadic languages Muyang and Mbuko present typologically unusual data, the bulk of which is found in the vowel systems. Prosodies of labialization and palatalization can span entire words, affecting both vowels and consonants. Morphemes are of three types: neutral, labialized, and palatalized. At a deep level, these languages have only one or two basic vowels; all other vowel qualities result from the interplay of other factors. The labialization and palatalization prosodies do not operate identically, but may co-occur in Muyang, and possibly in Mbuko. The consonantal and tonal systems also have points of interest. Both Muyang and Mbuko have lateral fricatives, implosive stops and prenasalized voiced stops. Both have three tone levels but no contour tones or downstep. Voiced obstruents and voiced fricatives in Muyang and Mbuko are tonal depressors. These phonologies are written in a broadly generative rule-based framework, but theorists from various persuasions will find much of interest, including Muyang labialization patterns related to adjacency and consonant/prosody/vowel interactions, Mbuko tones and adjacency, and a Muyang [+cor] autosegment causative morpheme. The works in this volume are the result of years of intensive contact with the speakers of Muyang and Mbuko by the authors.

Topics in Chadic Linguistics V has appeared

Currently, the Fifth Biennial International Colloquium on the Chadic Languages (BICCL) is taking place in Leipzig. Yesterday, Rüdiger Köppe (left) arrived and brought a box containing the conference volume of BICCL 4, which has just appeared. Eva Rothmaler (right) has edited this publication. Here is more information about the book: Continue reading “Topics in Chadic Linguistics V has appeared”

WOCAL 6: Call for papers

The 6th World Congress of African Linguistics (WOCAL6) will be held in Cologne, Germany from August 17 to 21, 2009 (Monday to Friday). The theme of WOCAL6 is “African Linguistics for Understanding and Progress”. However, papers on topics relating to all aspects of the study of African languages (including African sign languages) will be considered.

Main sections

  1. Language Contact
  2. Morpho-Syntax
  3. Language Documentation
  4. Phonetics and Phonology
  5. Typology
  6. Semantics
  7. Sociolinguistics
  8. Language Technology
  9. Language and Development

The following information is required for registration:

  • Title of paper
  • Abstract
  • Full name, e-mail AND postal address
  • Country of residence (in August 2009)
  • Nationality (in passport, for visa application)

The deadline for submission is December 20th, 2008.

Correspondence should be directed to:

c/o Matthias Brenzinger
Institut fuer Afrikanistik
University of Cologne
50923 Köln

or via eMail:

For further information on WOCAL6, please visit the WOCAL6 website at: www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/afrikanistik/wocal

North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics (NACAL) 36

The following invitation for NACAL 36 was published on Linguist List Issue 18.2557:

The 36th annual meeting of the North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics (NACAL 36) will be held in Chicago, IL, USA from March 14-16, 2008 (Friday-Sunday). Papers are solicited for the 36th annual meeting of the North American Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics (NACAL 36), which will be held in Chicago, IL, USA from March 14-16, 2008 (Friday-Sunday).

Papers on linguistic topics relevant to the languages of the Afroasiatic phylum (Chadic, Berber, Cushitic, Omotic, Egyptian, Semitic) are requested. Topics relating to all aspects of Afroasiatic languages will be considered, particularly including phonology, morphology, syntax, comparative linguistics, sociolinguistics, and epigraphy. These topics should be considered as general guidelines and are not intended to be exclusive. No original paper will be rejected on account of its subject, as long as it relates to the languages of the Afroasiatic phylum and meets the scholarly standards established by previous conferences.

In addition to the general sessions, there will be a special panel on Comparative Afrasian, dedicated to Alan S. Kaye. Participants who wish to contribute to this panel should indicate their preference when submitting the abstract or contact Lionel Bender (eswgaddress-markersiu.edu).

Abstracts describing the precise topic treated with a length of approximately 200-300 words can be sent as an electronic version (pdf or word document) or as a paper copy to the addresses specified on the registration page on the website(www.nacal.org). The deadline for submission is December 1st, 2007. For more information, please visit our website at www.nacal.org.

4th BICCL: Participants and Papers

The 4th Biennial International Colloquium on the Chadic Languages will take place 30th-31st October 2007, at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Here is a list of participants and their respective papers:

  • Ahmad, Mustapha: “Hausa in the digital age: Challenges and opportunities”
  • Allison, Sean: “Lexical tone in Makary Kotoko
  • Andreas, Heike (& Leger, Zoch): “The Nyam language – first steps towards its research and description”
  • Baba, Ahmad Tela (title to be announced)
  • Baldi, Sergio (& Leger): “The yi + noun verbs and their positioning in Hausa
  • Batic, Gian Claudio: “Imaginative Dimension and Experiential Constructions in Hausa and Bole
  • Blazek, Vaclav: “All Chadic lakes/ On application of glottochronology for Masa or Kotoko group”
  • Blench, Roger: “An introduction to Fali of Kirya”
  • Gravina, Richard: “Indirect Object Pronouns and Agreement in Mbuko
  • Holubova, Miroslava
  • Ibriszimow, Dymitr: see Zulyadaini, see Porkhomovsky
  • Kaploun, Mark: see Suyetina
  • Leger, Rudolf: see Andreas; see Baldi
  • Löhr, Doris: title to be announced
  • Porkhomovsky, Victor (& Ibriszimow, Sheshin): title to be announced
  • Roberts, Jim: “Palatalization and Labialization in Eastern Chadic verbs”
  • Rothmaler, Eva
  • Ruff, Joy: “Tone in Lagwan Verbs: The Conflict between Perceptual Prominence and Lexical Contrast”
  • Schumann, Theda: title to be announced
  • Seibert, Uwe: “Weblogs, Podcasts, Wikis etc. – what the Web 2.0 has to offer for (Chadic) Linguists”
  • Sheshin, Valery: see Porkhomovsky
  • Stolbova, Olga: “Plural in Kirfi and in Chadic”
  • Suyetina, Yuliya (& Kaploun): “Once Again About Lexical Function of Tones in Hausa
  • Tourneux, Henry: “La proposition relative dans les langues dites ’kotoko’ “
  • Wolff, Ekkehard: title to be announced
  • Ziegelmeyer, Georg: “Between Hausa and Kanuri: On the Linguistic Influence of Hausa and Kanuri on Bade and Ngizim
  • Zoch, Ulrike: see Andreas
  • Zulyadaini, Balarabe (& Ibriszimow): title to be announced

Further details can be found in the second circular, which can be downloaded here:

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