In recent years the study of verbal categories has become a major focus of
attention for Africanists and Bantuists. This interest has led to new
analyses of Bantu languages, including descriptions of tense, aspect,
modality, and discourse functions. This has resulted in an enormous growth
of terminology for verbal categories, some traditional, some specific to
Bantu, some from modern general linguistics. Over the years the authors
have been struck by the wide range and disparity of usage in terminology.
This brief glossary provides the general reader and the specialist in Bantu
linguistics alike with definitions of some of the terms most often
encountered in the study of Bantu languages. The authors' approach is based
on an in-depth analysis of several Bantu languages, examination of terms
used for many other Bantu languages, and consultation of linguistic
The glossary contains over 200 definitions of terms applicable to verbal
constructions, of which 160 are substantive and 40 are cross-references.
Some definitions are short, others are longer, with an explanation of
theoretical issues. Examples are plentiful and drawn from many Bantu
languages, including some as yet unpublished material. The References will
lead the reader to up-to-date discussions of Bantu and of theoretical issues.
This is a concise, informative and very readable glossary which promises to
be both an indispensable resource tool and a touchstone for lively discussion.