The Oxford Handbook of African Languages, (PDF) offers a comprehensive overview of current research in African languages, drawing on perceptions from historical, anthropological linguistics, typology, and comparative linguistics, and sociolinguistics. Africa is believed to host at least one-third of the world’s languages, usually categorized into four phyla – Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, Afro-Asiatic, and Khoisan – which are then sub-sectioned into further families and subgroupings. This volume explores all aspects of research in the field, starting with chapters that include the major domains of grammar and comparative approaches. Later parts offer overviews of the phyla and subfamilies, together with grammatical sketches of eighteen representative African languages of various genetic affiliation. The volume moreover explores multiple other topics relating to African linguistics and languages, with a special focus on extralinguistic issues: cognition, language, and culture, including colour terminology and conversation analysis; society and language, including language contact and endangerment; language and history; and language and orature. This comprehensive handbook will be a valuable reference for students and scholars in all areas of African linguistics and anthropology, and for anyone interested in documentary, descriptive, typological, and comparative linguistics.
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