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Doris Richter

A Grammar of Mbembe is a description of a little studied Jukunoid language which is spoken in the borderland of Nigeria and Cameroon. Present-day structures of different dialects are described and discussed with respect to diachronic developments. It is based on extensive fieldwork, but also takes into consideration previous work on Mbembe and other Jukunoid languages. The main topics in the chapters on the noun phrase and the verb and simple sentence structures are nominal classification and number marking based on Ablaut phenomena and tone, argument structure, and serial verb constructions. The remaining chapters cover phonology, complex structures, information structure and requesting information, and other word classes. This is complemented by example texts and a word list in the appendix.

Series:

Paul Sidwell and Mathias Jenny

The Handbook of the Austroasiatic Languages is the first comprehensive reference work on this important language family of South and Southeast Asia. Austroasiatic languages are spoken by more than 100 million people, from central India to Vietnam, from Malaysia to Southern China, including national language Cambodian and Vietnamese, and more than 130 minority communities, large and small.

The handbook comprises two parts, Overviews and Grammar Sketches:
Part 1) The overview chapters cover typology, classification, historical reconstruction, plus a special overview of the Munda languages.
Part 2) Some 27 scholars present grammar sketches of 21 languages, representing 12 of the 13 branches. The sketches are carefully prepared according to the editors’ unifying typological approach, ensuring analytical and notational comparability throughout.

Small-Language Fates and Prospects

Lessons of Persistence and Change from Endangered Languages: Collected Essays

Series:

Nancy Dorian

In Small-language Fates and Prospects Nancy C. Dorian gathers findings from decades of documenting an endangered Scottish Gaelic dialect, presenting detailed evidence of contraction and loss but also recording a positive role for imperfect speakers. Retention of language skills undervalued by linguists but positively viewed by the community has supported the survival of local Gaelic-English bilingualism well beyond early predictions. Nonetheless, potent factors that threaten small-language survival everywhere have also operated here. Negative social attitudes towards the minority population, loss of a traditional occupation, the increasing impact of majority-culture ideologies, are recurrent phenomena in small-language settings. Maintenance or revitalization efforts pose special challenges under these circumstances, as does fieldwork itself when adverse sociohistorical forces have left very few fluent speakers.