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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Patterns in Linguistic Geography and the Bantu Origins Controversy
Author:Bennett, Patrick R.
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Bantu-speaking peoples
African languages
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3171689
Abstract:The Bantu languages of Africa constitute a large cluster of languages sharing so many common features that their probable relationship was recognized very early. The studies of Doke and Cole, Meinhof, Meeussen and Guthrie have made possible detailed reconstructions of Bantu phonology (including tonology and intonation), morphology, syntax, and lexicon. The problems that remain are those of internal and external relationships. In this context the following questions are discussed here: What are the subgroups of Bantu and what is the history of their development from the hypothetized ancestral language? What languages are related to Bantu, and what is the status of Bantu in any larger language grouping? Both questions together may be put as: does 'Bantu' exist? That is, do the languages recognized as Bantu - all and only those languages - constitute a well-defined linguistic group? Fig., notes.