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992 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 60, NUMBER 4 (1984) Syntax is rigid SVO except for topicalization structures. Relative clauses begin with al or (perfect) abu, with resumptive pronoun for relativized object (but the pronoun is zero for 3rd person non-human). Nouns usually precede modifiers such as adjectives and numerals. Many lexical gaps are filled by new compounds, including some with maria 'woman', and other human nouns are added to nouns to mark gender (34). In general, H's presentation is perfunctory, but the data are ofgreat interest to Arabists and creolists. In addition to background material (11-22) and the thumbnail grammatical sketch (25-46), the volume includes a couple of texts (49-58), plus Nubi-English (61-9) and EnglishNubi (70-83) glossaries. Unfortunately, one must work back and forth between the two glossaries , since etymologies, plural forms, and example sentences are confined to the EnglishNubi section; in addition, a large number of transcriptional variations can only be picked up by painstaking collation. Despite some faults, this volume serves its purpose by providing basic information on an important and previously little-known creóle. [Jeffrey Heath, Harvard University.] The Waata dialect of Oromo: Grammatical sketch and vocabulary. By Bernd Heine. (Language and dialect atlas of Kenya, 4.) Berlin: Reimer , 1981. Pp. 72. Cloth DM 57.00, paper DM 45.00. Boni dialects. By Bernd Heine. (Language and dialect atlas of Kenya, 10.) Berlin: Reimer, 1982. Pp. 151. Cloth DM 78.00, paper DM 65.00. The Waata dialect of Oromo and the Boni group of dialects are spoken by small tribes living in the coastal region of N.E. Kenya. Boni belongs to the Omo-Tana branch of Lowland East Cushitic (which includes Somali and Rendille ), and Waata to the Oromo branch (formerly called Galla). Because of the size and location ofthese groups, few linguistic studies have dealt with either. Thus the present descriptions are welcome additions to Cushitic studies The two books are organized similarly. H begins with a geographical and cultural description ofthe people, followed by a grammatical sketch and vocabulary lists. His purpose, however, is not the same in the two books: Boni dialects (BD) presents an overview of the dialect situation , while The Waata dialect of Oromo (WDO) describes a single dialect. In § 1 of BD, the geographical distribution of the five major dialects is discussed, together with the distribution of second-language influences in the area. H chose the two most different ofthese dialects for grammatical sketches in §2. These sketches present only the morphology, since the dialectal variation is apparently most obvious at this level. BD's §3 describes the diachronic development ofthe five dialects from Proto-Boni. H hypothesizes three divergent splits, followed by several convergent developments . This section is intended as 'a first, preliminary , attempt at describing Boni dialect history ', and thus contains no detailed support. BD's §4 presents comparative vocabulary lists, and takes up a major portion of the book. Each of ca. 750 lexical items is given in several dialects, together with the Proto-Boni and Proto-Sam reconstructed forms where available . In addition, Swahili and Oromo loanwords are identified. (The influence of Oromo on Boni is also discussed in §3.) Somali, which is genetically close to Boni and geographically contiguous , is not discussed. It would be interesting in future work to discuss the relationships between Somali and Boni dialects, since the Coastal and Central dialects of Somali (which are generally considered to be innovative with respect to Proto-Somali) seem similar to Northern Boni in many respects. BD's §5 parallels §3, contrasting two hypotheses concerning the early cultural history of the Boni people on the basis of linguistic evidence . The book ends with an appendix of Proto-Boni vocabulary. In the introduction to WDO, H divides Oromo into three major dialect groups: Ethiopian, Central , and Tana River. He presents phonological and lexical evidence to support this division and to illustrate the position of Waata in the Tana River group. In §2, H gives a grammatical sketch of Waata, which takes up the major portion ofthe book. He covers the phonology, morphology , and major syntactic features—including basic word order and possible permutations, conjoining and embedding sentences, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 992-993
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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