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Bantu linguistic studies. Italian Capuchin priest Hyacintho Brusciotto à Vetralla Regulae quaedam pro difficillimi congensium idiomatis faciliori captu ad grammaticae norman redactae. Discusses noun class concord.,. Born in Berlin. Student of Karl Lepsius.

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Italian Capuchin priest Hyacintho Brusciotto à Vetralla
  • Regulae quaedam pro difficillimi congensium idiomatis faciliori captu ad grammaticae norman redactae.
  • Discusses noun class concord.,
wilhelm bleek 1827 1875
Born in Berlin. Student of Karl Lepsius.

Dissertation 1851 on noun classes. 1853: Went to Africa; wrote grammar of Zulu.

Wrote comparative Bantu grammar 1862, and set up 18 noun class system; focused on Xhosa.

Wilhelm Bleek 1827-1875
carl meinhof
Carl Meinhof
  • Prussian pastor
  • Influenced by August Schleicher
  • 1899 Grundriss einer Lautlehre der Bantu Sprachen
  • 1906 Comparative grammar
  • Had the first clear conception of a proto (“Ur-”) Bantu language to be reconstructed by scholars.
clement doke 1893 1980
Clement Doke 1893-1980
  • Began as a missionary.
  • U of Witwatersrand 1928
  • “Bantu grammars for Bantu languages”
  • 1928 grammar
19 th century biblically based conceptions of bantu geneology
19th century biblically based conceptions of Bantu geneology
  • Noah
    • Shem, Japheth, Ham (Cham) youngest son
      • Canaan was Ham’s son; Noah cursed Canaan to be Shem and Japheth’s servant.
  • 19th century views sought an account of all Africans as Hamitic, but only some as descendants of Canaan. E.g., Tutsis “Hamitic”.
  • Karl Lepsius (1810-1877) associated the term Hamitic language with non-Semitic African languages with a gender system, with various interpretations seeing the Hamitic component as derived from the Middle East in some way or other.
pre greenberg
Pre-Greenberg
  • Hamito-Semitic
    • Hamitic: Egyptian, Berber, Cushitic, Chadic
    • Semitic
  • Greenberg
    • Egyptian, Semitic, Berber, Cushitic, Omotic, Chadic.
bantu semi bantu bantoid
Bantu? Semi-Bantu? Bantoid?
  • Discussion in 1977 (Viviers conference)
joseph greenberg 1915 2001
Joseph Greenberg (1915-2001)
  • Student of Melville Herskovits
  • 1949: Classified Bantu as a part of “Niger-Congo”
  • Used mass comparison and sought shared innovations
  • Said Bantu originated in West Africa (southern Nigeria)
malcolm guthrie 1903 1972
Malcolm Guthrie (1903-1972)
  • School of Oriental and African Studies
  • Challenged Joseph Greenberg’s view.
  • The Classification of the Bantu languages: 1948.
  • Comparative Bantu, 4 volumes: 1967-1971.
  • Created system of zones: A through T, still used.
guthrie s work
Guthrie’s work
  • Heavily reliance on geography.
  • Work critical of his will be based on lexical items (influenced by glottochronology in the early 1950s – applied to Bantu by Olmstedt and Meeussen in mid 1950s).
guthrie s bantu
Guthrie’s Bantu
  • Thought the Bantu origin was in the middle of current Bantu area, and later moved towards West Africa.
consensus of the 1970s
Consensus of the 1970s
  • 3 Waves (B. Heine, lexicostatistics)
    • North and south from Cameroun
    • North of the lower Zaire: created 7 groups (western Bantu)
    • Kasai dispersal (eastern Bantu) (roughly Guthrie’s central dispersion)
chris ehret central sudanic loans
Chris Ehret: Central Sudanic loans
  • Eastern Bantu: arrived western side of Lake Tanganyika around 500 BCE. Lega-Guha and Lacustrine languages split off around 1 CE.
  • Remainder split:
    • Kenya/Tanzania (dimple based pottery)
    • Southern (channeled ware)
d w phillipson 1975
D. W. Phillipson 1975
  • Urewe (lacustrine area)
    • Eastern
    • Western
  • ??
a e meeussen 1912 1978
A. E. Meeussen (1912-1978)
  • Student of Guthrie.