The Making of a Mixed Language

The case of Ma’a/Mbugu

| Leiden University
ISBN 9789027252487 (Eur) | EUR 130.00
ISBN 9781588114891 (USA) | USD 195.00
ISBN 9789027275240 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
The Mbugu (or Ma'á) language (Tanzania) is one of the few genuine mixed languages, reputedly combining Bantu grammar with Cushitic vocabulary. In fact the people speak two languages: one mixed and one closely related to the Bantu language Pare. This book is the first comprehensive description of these languages. It shows that these two languages share one grammar while their lexicon is parallel. In the distant past the people shifted from a Cushitic to a Bantu language and in the process rebuilt a language of their own that expresses their separate ethnic identity in a Bantu environment. This linguistic history is explained in the context of the intricate history of the people. The discussion of the processes that were involved in the formation of Ma'a/Mbugu is extremely relevant for both creole studies and for contact linguistics in general.
[Creole Language Library, 26]  2003.  xx, 322 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Map 1 of the relevant area of East Africa
Map 2 of the Usambara area
1. Introduction
2. Historical and geographical background
3. Linguistic history
4. Phonology
5. The verb
6. The noun
7. Adjectives and other nominal modifiers
8. Invariables or other words
9. Notes on syntax, code-switching and texts
Appendix: Mbugu — English etymological lexicon
English index to the lexicon
“This book is a valuable contribution, as it contains by far the most comprehensive descriptive analysis of a fascinating language. Mous is a genuine authority on the language; the book will surely become the standard source. The status and history of this language are highly controversial in language contact studies, so that the availability of a richly documented grammar will be welcomed by many researchers (as well as by specialists in Bantu and other languages of that part of East Africa). The book has no competitors, and it is a 'must-read' for anyone interested in mixed languages. Scholarly interest in language contact has been booming for some years now, and mixed languages have proved especially intriguing.”
“Maarten Mous has produced a solid study of the creation of the mixed language Ma'a, parallel to the Bantu language Mbugu spoken among members of the same ethnic group. His analysis is of great interest to all students of language contact, historical linguistics, ethnogenesis, and the deliberate manipulation of languages.”
“The present book is a wealth of data and information concerning the language under question. In fact it is a complete descriptive grammar of not only the mixed language Ma'a/Inner Mbugu, but also simultaneously the ''matrix'' language Normal Mbugu, showing the close relationship between the languages, something that Mous argues strongly for.”
“This is a remarkable book. I found this book so extraordinarily interesting, so gripping that I just read and read, from start to finish. Mous sets out an array of possible interpretations, examines each of them, states the pros and cons, and says where he stands. He proposes to enlarge the standard interpretation of the Comparative method, via his conscious manipulation. All this is of general interest. A balanced presentation; a pleasure to read. I predict scholars from different backgrounds will like this book: those interested in mixed languages, and those interesting in language contact, language change, language genesis, and language manipulation.”
“This book makes an invaluable contribution to contact linguistics. Apart from Africanists and scholars working on language contact, this book is of great relevance to general historical linguists.”
“It is clear that for many years to come this will be the central source on the strange case of Mbugu. Its importance for the study of language change cannot be overestimated, and previous attempts to classify the language have shown that without proper information such attempts are bound to be futile.”
“This volume offers significant new insights, thanks in part to its thorough and detailed analysis. The book also marks a minor change from Mous's earlier work (e.g., Mous, 1994), where Ma'a is categorized as merely a lexical register of (Normal) Mbugu. The making of a mixed langage provides much detail, and as such it may be a relatively tough read for the uninitiated generalist. But Banto scholars, Africanists, and those interested in mixed languages in particular will welcome Mous's in-depth discussion, and find the book challenging and informative.”
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 12 september 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2003063773 | Marc record