Read e-book online Archaeology, Language, and the African Past PDF

By Roger Blench

Archaeology, Language, and the African Past is an summary of theories and techniques, a fusion of African linguistics and archaeology. Roger Blench presents a finished examine the heritage of all African language households, incorporating the most recent linguistic classifications, present facts from archaeology, genetic learn, and recorded heritage. This unique and definitive quantity examines the commercial tradition of the continent―from significant plants and vegetation to animals and livestock―from a multi-dimensional point of view. It presents scholars of linguistics, archaeology, and anthropology with a serious dialogue at the heritage of African languages and the cultures they articulate.

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Extra resources for Archaeology, Language, and the African Past

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The palm-nut is partially edible straight from the tree and this must have been known for millennia; pounding, boiling and skimming is almost certainly much more recent. The contrast with domestic animals is evident; none of sub-Saharan Africa’s domestic animals are indigenous to the continent except the donkey and the guinea-fowl (see §11). New terms to refer to introduced species such as cattle, sheep and goats are recorded in Niger-Congo and Afroasiatic to high levels of reconstructibility (Blench 1993a).

Bantu languages are often very close to one another, much closer than West African languages. If the dialects of West African languages were counted according to the same standards as Bantu, there would be many more languages in West Africa and the overall density thus much greater. So diversity cannot be assessed using numbers of languages unless the calculations also factor in the standards used to differentiate languages. A related issue is linguistic geography, the actual pattern formed by languages or other features on the map.

Some parts of it have simply become outdated with the availability of new language materials while others employ highly suspect methodologies and therefore reach doubtful conclusions. Some material has a specifically historical focus, other papers and monographs are simply reconstructions with historical implications. Methods and discussions Lexicostatistics and glottochronology Lexicostatistics, the counting of cognate words in a standardised list and the assignation of a numerical value to their relationship, seems to have been first used in the early nineteenth century.

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Archaeology, Language, and the African Past by Roger Blench

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