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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter firstly considers morphological typologies relevant for African languages and discusses their heuristics. It gives examples for focal members of each category and thereby hints at the wide variation of morphological types found in Africa. It then goes on to describe some salient concepts of African languages’ morphologies. Numerous examples show the far-reaching range of derivational and inflectional morphology. Some more special cases of tonal inflection and derivation are considered here as well as some aspects of the famous noun class systems. There is then a discussion of possibilities for a coherent morpheme classification. The final section of the chapter looks at diachronic aspects of morphology. It discusses the possibilities of morphological reconstruction and its value for language classification. It also throws some light on the theory of grammaticalization and its contribution to our understanding of the connection between morphology and syntax.

Keywords: morphological type, derivation, inflection, noun class system, grammaticalization, morphological reconstruction

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