A Grammar of Akabea
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its phrasal and clausal syntax, although there are inevitable limitations on our understanding of Akabea phonology, clause combining, and discourse structure. The grammar is accompanied by an online appendix that provides a diplomatic edition with commentary and analysis of the single most valuable
resource for Akabea grammatical analysis, Portman's Dialogues.
Raoul Zamponi and Bernard Comrie's Grammar of Akabea offers a unique insight into the culture, history, and prehistory of the Andaman Islands, and also broadens our understanding of the human capacity for language. It highlights the typologically interesting and cross-linguistically rare traits of the language, such as a rich system of somatic (body-part) prefixes and the phenomenon of Verb Root Ellipsis, whereby under certain circumstances the root of a verb may be absent, leaving behind a
grammatical word consisting solely of affixes. The project at last makes this valuable evidence accessible both to linguists and to interested scholars from other disciplines, such as anthropology, history, and genetics.
List of tables, diagrams, figures, and maps
Abbreviations and symbols
7: Complex sentences
8: Discourse phenomena
10: Conclusion and prospects
Appendix A. Original spellings and translations of examples (1)-(1068)
Appendix B. Comparative Akabea-Akarbale basic lexical items
Online appendix: Portman's Akabea Dialogues
of American Linguistics as well as in edited volumes from OUP, De Gruyter, and Edinburgh University Press.
Bernard Comrie is Distinguished Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a world-renowned scholar in the areas of language universals and typology, historical linguistics, and linguistic fieldwork. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the author of several volumes, and the editor or co-editor of many more, including The World Atlas of Language Structures (OUP 2005). His most recent work has been in collaboration with population geneticists,
archaeologists, and anthropologists in order to address questions relating to prehistoric human migrations. In 2017 he received the Neil & Saras Smith Medal for Linguistics, a lifetime achievement award from the British Academy.