Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences | Department of Asian and African Studies | Regional Departments | African Studies | Events | Upcoming Events | 07.06. Colloquium on African linguistics: Fossilized class affixes in the Mel languages (Schulze)

07.06. Colloquium on African linguistics: Fossilized class affixes in the Mel languages (Schulze)

“Fossilized class affixes in the Mel languages” - Talk by Michael Schulze (HU Berlin, Ph.D. project) given within the digital colloquium of African linguistics and languages
  • When Jun 07, 2022 from 04:15 to 05:45
  • Where Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften, Invalidenstr. 118, room 410 & via Zoom
  • Contact Name Christfried Naumann (christfried.naumann (AT) hu-berlin.de, please contact for Zoom access information)
  • iCal

In the Mel languages of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the systems of affixal class marking on nouns are quite heterogeneous. In the Northern branch, the systems are strictly prefixing, while in the languages of the Southern branch, prefixes, suffixes, circumfixes and class enclitics are found. For the historical-comparative reconstruction of the nominal form marking systems in Mel, this diversity of systems poses a considerable challenge. Having only the synchronic systems in mind, one is tempted to reconstruct a prefixing system for Proto-Mel from which the later diversity in Southern Mel has developed. But a closer look reveals that many nominal forms in Northern Mel languages clearly show fossilized class suffixes. In Southern Mel, both fossilized prefixes and suffixes can be identified. In this talk, some tentative analyses of these observations will be given, together with the consequences for the reconstruction of the Proto-Mel system.