Abstract and Keywords
The chapter surveys the history of classification of Mande languages from the first attempts in 1849 to the most recent ones on the basis of quantitative approaches to language classification, linguistic reconstruction, and theories on language stability. It discusses various proposals for the internal genealogical relationship of Mande languages and examines their advances and differences in the light of methodological aspects and availability of reliable linguistic data. Special emphasis is laid on the historical tan/fu dichotomy and its revision. Typological issues are treated in the discussion of Mande-specific typological obstacles for lexicostatistic classification. The problem of internal convergence for the linguistic classification of Mande is exemplified in particular in accounting the impact of Greater Manding. The effect of changes in classification methodology by the introduction of phylogenetic methods and theoretical assumptions about language stability are addressed in the final discussion of a revised classification of Mande.
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.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.