Talking to animals in a moribund language
Pragma-semantics, phonetics, and morphology of conative animal calls in Tjwao
Alexander Andrason |
Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages
University of Cape Town
The present article is dedicated to conative animal calls (CACs) in a Kalahari Khoe language, Tjwao. By using a
prototype approach to categorization, the authors test the Tjwao CACs for their compliance with the prototype of CACs posited
recently in scholarly literature. The authors conclude that Tjwao CACs largely conform to the pragma-semantic, phonetic, and
morphological properties associated with CACs across languages. In light of the Tjwao data, a few refinements are also proposed.
These concern the potential prevalence of whistles as the most common sounds not included in the International Phonetic Alphabet,
the correlation of summonses with replication and repetitions as well as front and/or close vowels, the higher frequency of
summonses and dispersals among all semantic types of CACs, and the lesser extent of monosemy than previously claimed.
- 2.Theoretical background
- 4.Results and discussion