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STUF - Language Typology and Universals

Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung

Editor-in-Chief: Stolz, Thomas

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Volume 70, Issue 2 (Jul 2017)

Issues

Sub-classifying the languages of the Lower Volta Valley: Towards redefining Kwa

Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu
Published Online: 2017-07-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2017-0015

Abstract

This paper is concerned with defining the genetic position of the Ghana-Togo Mountain (GTM) languages, formerly known as the Togorestsprachen, later the Central Togo languages, in relation to what are currently known as the Kwa languages. It explores the possible genetic relationship of the languages now referred to as “Ghana-Togo Mountain” languages to the Potou-Tano languages, as an initial step towards defining their relationship towards all the languages of the area. Probably nobody today questions that the languages are all related, all being classifiable as Niger-Congo, but the problem is, how are they related? The paper does not conclusively prove that GTM languages belong to the family denoted by the node label “Potou-Tano”, but evidence adduced makes it seem very likely. It also shows that on the basis of several sound shifts it is reasonable to regard GTM as a genetic group within Potou-Tano. There is no clear evidence that the NA group of GTM is any more closely related to Tano than the KA group. An obvious next step is a proper comparison of the Tano and GTM noun class systems.

Keywords: Kwa subclassification; Potou-Tano languages; Ghana-Togo Mountain languages; Guang languages; comparative method

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About the article

Published Online: 2017-07-14

Published in Print: 2017-07-26


Citation Information: STUF - Language Typology and Universals, ISSN (Online) 2196-7148, ISSN (Print) 1867-8319, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2017-0015.

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