Show Less
Restricted access

Guinea Languages of the Atlantic Group

Description and Internal Classification


Anne Storch and André Wilson

Atlantic is one of the most diversified and most problematic Niger-Congo families as far as evidence for a monogenetic origin is concerned. Moreover, the group remains poorly known. Besides well-studied languages such as Fula, Wolof and Serer some sixty lesser known languages of Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are currently believed to belong to Atlantic. Many of these languages are not yet documented, and some never will – they disappeared some decades ago or are just on the verge of extinction. This book provides an overview of Atlantic south of the Wolof, Serer and Fula-speaking regions. The sections on the various Atlantic languages present information on phonology, morphology and basic syntacticpatterns by using General Linguistic Theory. Lexical material is presented in comparative wordlists. All data stem from the author‘s own fieldwork in the 1950s and 1960s in Guinea Bissau and Guinea.
The Author: William André Auquier Wilson has been interested in consonant mutation since he began his linguistic career in the RAF in 1945 by studying Japanese and Celtic languages. He embarked on research on Mande and Atlantic in Sierra Leone in 1953, conducted extensive fieldwork in Guinea-Bissau and Ghana between 1958 and 1961 and worked as a Translations Consultant in West Africa from 1966 to 1976. The author has published widely on Gur, Mande and Atlantic.
The Editor: Anne Storch is Professor of African Languages and Linguistics at the University of Cologne. Her principal research has been on the Jukun languages of Nigeria, the Atlantic language family and on Western Nilotic. She is currently working on language contact and speech registers in Africa.