The Hausa Language


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An Encyclopedic Reference Grammar

Paul Newman

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This book is a comprehensive grammar of Hausa, one of the largest and most important languages of Africa. Hausa is spoken by some 35 million people as a first language and approximately 15 million more as a second language. Paul Newman, a world authority on the Hausa language, draws on two centuries of Hausa linguistic scholarship to provide the most authoritative and detailed grammar of the language ever written.

Unlike other grammars, this book is organized alphabetically. Readers will appreciate the ease with which they can find the specific individual topics that interest them. The grammar covers such expected topics as tonology, noun plurals, and verbal tense/aspect as well as often neglected topics, including verbal idioms, proper names, and language games. Newman also incorporates historical linguistic notes that explain and explicate current Hausa phenomena, especially puzzling anomalies, in terms of their Chadic and Afroasiatic origins.

Paul Newman is professor in the department of linguistics at Indiana University. He is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including West African Travels and Adventures: Two Autobiographical Narratives from Northern Nigeria, published by Yale University Press.

“There simply is not—has never been—a Hausa grammar that comes close to matching this work. Anyone involved with Hausa teaching or linguistics should have a copy handy.”—Patrick Bennett, University of Wisconsin at Madison

“Newman’s book is an outstanding piece of scholarship—years in the making. Any linguist aspiring to produce a detailed and absorbing grammar will surely profit by examining this publication.”—Alan S. Kaye, Journal of the American Oriental Society

“This is an exceptional piece of work. . . . The book is a treasure. It will bring information and enjoyment to every Hausa scholar and Hausa speaker who consults it. The breadth of coverage is far beyond my first expectations, even knowing Newman’s prodigious past contributions to the field. It is, simply, the best single work on Hausa that has appeared. It will make non-Hausa scholars envious. With luck, it will encourage some of them to attempt reference grammars for other languages with the scope and depth of feel for the language that Newman reveals in this book.”—William R. Leben, The Modern Language Journal

ISBN: 9780300081893
Publication Date: February 9, 2000
800 pages, 7 x 10
9 b/w illus.
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