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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Nilo-Saharan moveable-k as a stage III article: (with a Penutian typological parallel)
Author:Greenberg, Joseph H.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Languages and Linguistics
Geographic terms:East Africa
Northeast Africa
Subject:Nilo-Saharan languages
Abstract:Among the grammatical elements of Nilo-Saharan listed in Greenberg, 'Languages of Africa' (The Hague, Mouton, 1966), was moveable-k. This is a prefix which occurs, basically on nominals, in a apparently capricious manner. The name moveable-k was chosen because of its resemblance to a phenomenon well-known to Indo-Europeanists under the name moveable s-. There is an important difference between Indo-European s- and Nilo-Saharan k-, however. In Indo-European the moveable element appears indifferently on nominal and verbal forms while in Nilo-Saharan it is, in principle, confined to nominals. A more genuine parallel to Nilo-Saharan is a suffixed -s in Penutian languages, which is purely nominal and which in Greenberg (ed.) 'Universals of Human Language' (Stanford, Stanford Univ. Press, 1978), was conjectured to be what was there called a Stage III article. In the present article the author advances a similar theory regarding Nilo-Saharan k-, and discusses the Penutian parallel as an illustration of the fruitfulness of dynamic comparison, that is of the investigation of parallel diachronic processes in historically independent cases. Notes, ref.