Theory and description in African Linguistics: Selected papers from the 47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics

Emily Clem   Peter Jenks   Hannah Sande  


The papers in this volume were presented at the 47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics at UC Berkeley in 2016. The papers offer new descriptions of African languages and propose novel theoretical analyses of them. The contributions span topics in phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics and reflect the typological and genetic diversity of languages in Africa. Four papers in the volume examine Areal Features and Linguistic Reconstruction in Africa, and were presented at a special workshop on this topic held alongside the general session of ACAL.


  • A featural analysis of mid and downstepped high tone in Babanki
    Pius W. Akumbu
  • Metrically conditioned vowel length in Dagaare
    Arto Anttila, Adams Bodomo
  • ‘Backwards’ sibilant palatalization in a variety of Setswana
    Wm. G. Bennett
  • Liquid realization in Rutooro
    Lee Bickmore
  • Tumbuka prosody: Between tone and stress
    Laura Downing
  • Hybrid falling tones in Limbum
    Siri Gjersøe, Jude Nformi, Ludger Paschen
  • Notes on the morphology of Marka (Af-Ashraaf)
    Christopher R. Green, Evan Jones
  • Implosives in Bantu A80? The case of Gyeli
    Nadine Grimm
  • Downstep and recursive phonological phrases in Bàsàá (Bantu A43)
    Fatima Hamlaoui, Emmanuel-Moselly Makasso
  • Reconsidering tone and melodies in Kikamba
    Patrick Jones, Jake Fryer
  • Acoustic correlates of harmony classes in Somali
    Wendell Kimper, Wm. G. Bennett, Christopher R. Green, Kristine Yu
  • Prosody & the conjoint/disjoint alternation in Tshivenḓa
    Leland Paul Kusmer
  • Obstacles for gradual place assimilation
    Andrew Lamont
  • The phonetics and phonology of depressor consonants in Gengbe
    Samson Lotven, Kelly Berkson
  • Factors in the affrication of the ejective alveolar fricative in Tigrinya
    Emily Moeng, William Carter
  • Between tone and stress in Hamar
    Sara Petrollino
  • Verbal gestures in Cameroon
    Betsy Pillion, Lenore A. Grenoble, Emmanuel Ngué Um, Sarah Kopper
  • Contrastive focus particles in Kusaal
    Hasiyatu Abubakari
  • Non-canonical switch-reference in Serer
    Viktoria Apel
  • Upward-oriented complementizer agreement with subjects and objects in Kipsigis
    Michael Diercks, Meghana Rao
  • Serial verb nominalization in Akan: the question of intervening elements
    Obadele Kambon, Reginald Akuoko Duah, Clement I. K. Appah
  • Verb and predicate coordination in Ibibio
    Philip T. Duncan, Travis Major, Mfon Udoinyang
  • On the derivation of Swahili amba relative clauses
    Evidence for movement
    Isaac Gould, Tessa Scott
  • The aorist and the perfect in Mano
    Maria Khachaturyan
  • Nominal quantification in Kipsigis
    Meredith Landman
  • Stem modification in Nuer
    Irina Monich, Matthew Baerman
  • Negation coding in Ga
    Yvonne Akwele Amankwaa Ollennu
  • On the structure of splitting verbs in Yoruba
    Alicia Parrish, Cara Feldscher
  • Animacy is a presupposition in Swahili
    Jonathan Pesetsky
  • Hausa chat jargon
    Semantic extension versus borrowing
    Tristan Purvis
  • Deriving an object dislocation asymmetry in Luganda
    Rodrigo Ranero
  • A case based account of Bantu IAV-focus
    Naga Selvanathan
  • When Northern Swahili met southern Somali
    Derek Nurse
  • The syntactic diversity of SAuxOV in West Africa
    Hannah Sande, Nico Baier, Peter Jenks
  • Clicks on the fringes of the Kalahari Basin Area
    Bonny Sands, Hilde Gunnink
  • Central vowels in the Kru language family
    Innovation and areal spreading
    Lynell Marchese Zogbo



Emily Clem

Emily Clem is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on syntax and its interaction with semantics and morphology. This work, which spans topics such as case, binding, switch-reference, and concord, draws primarily on data from her fieldwork on Amahuaca, a Panoan language of Peru, and Tswefap, a Grassfields Bantoid language of Cameroon.

Peter Jenks

Peter Jenks is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a syntactician with a primary focus on crosslinguistic variation and the syntax-semantics interface. He teaches courses on syntax, semantics, typology, and fieldwork. His work examines how the the languages of East and Southeast Asia and Subsaharan Africa inform linguistic theory. Much of his research has focused on Moro, a Kordofanian language spoken in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.

Hannah Sande

Hannah Sande is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Her research and teaching focus on phonology, morphology, and language documentation. Her theoretical work on the interaction of morphology and phonology is based primarily on findings from her own documentation of Kru languages in Côte d'Ivoire, and of other African languages.


February 7, 2018
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Clem, Emily, Jenks, Peter & Sande, Hannah (eds.). 2018. Theory and description in African Linguistics: Selected papers from the 47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. (Contemporary African Linguistics 4). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3365789


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