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Groundwork in Shiyeyi Grammar with a Shiyeyi-English Glossary

Stephen Lukusa

The inconspicuous status of the indigenous languages of Botswana often leads into the wrong belief that this country’s population is basically monolingual. Setswana, the only national language, overshadows 25 or so minority languages by making them vulnerable to language shift and death. Shiyeyi, the focal point in this study, is the second largest minority language which so desperately struggles for its survival. The author contributes to the effort to preserve and develop the remnants of this endangered language by launching its very first comprehensive grammar that will serve both as reference material to teachers and focus of further research. Accessibility of the contents to a potentially large and diversified audience is enhanced by the translations provided. The book is based on authentic data. It covers systematically the Shiyeyi noun classes before proceeding with similar structural descriptions of the other major word categories. It concludes with a generative-transformational treatment of the sentence structure. The glossary compiled towards the end is based on the rich illustrations given in the book and constitutes a starting point in an attempt to develop a future Shiyeyi dictionary.
Contents: The Shiyeyi Noun class system – Pronouns – Adjectives – The verb – Adverbs and ideophones – Prepositions – The sentence structure.