Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Next to three major phyla and a range of smaller language families, one finds several linguistic isolates on the African continent. The fact that many isolates are found at the periphery of expansion zones, where they are part of accretion zones, suggests that they represent the last representatives of language families which have become extinct. Climate change, social innovations, and technological innovations probably forced groups to adapt to new situations, which often involved language shift. The genetic classification of these isolates is often problematic because it is difficult to differentiate between borrowing and genetic inheritance, as no closely related languages apparently survived.

Keywords: accretion zone, climate change, expansion zone, language shift, social innovation, technological innovation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.