This groundbreaking study addresses all grammatical levels of Kifuliiru, a
Bantu J language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Together with its
companion volume (The Kifuliiru Language, Volume 1: Phonology, Tone, and
Morphological Derivation), this is one of the most thorough Bantu grammars
available, aiming to describe all grammatical features found in over 100
narrative texts, and to provide natural examples.
At the word level, this book covers nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns,
demonstratives, locatives, ideophones, and interjections. The chapter on
verbs catalogues the wide range of tenses, aspects and moods. There is a
comprehensive chapter on reduplication and another on proverbs. At the
clause level, information structure is carefully presented, including possible
alternations of the default clause word order. A complete set of distinct
interclausal relations is also laid out.
Of particular interest is a detailed study of narrative discourse, an area that
most Bantu grammars to date do not cover. This study includes a
fascinating section on tight-knit conversations. Also noted are various
development markers, which demarcate two distinct levels of thematic
salience. Intonation and pauses are also described, including a typical long
pause between topic and comment.
Many of the discourse features described in this book are common to Bantu
languages, and this volume thus invites further comparative study. The
contents of this book have already provided a springboard for extensive
discourse study in dozens of related languages.
Roger Van Otterloo received his master's degree in linguistics from the
University of Texas at Arlington in 1976. He and his wife Karen (author of
Volumne 1) have worked with SIL International among the Kifuliiru-speaking
community since 1980, living in their communities from 1980-1996.