Swahili was once an obscure dialect of an East African Bantu language. Today more than one hundred million people use it: Swahili is to eastern and central Africa what English is to the world. From its embrace in the 1960s by the black freedom movement in the United States to its adoption in 2004 as the African Union’s official language, Swahili has become a truly international language.
This volume consists of seventeen articles by scholars including Robert Blust, Paul Hopper, A. L. Becker, Sarah Bell, J. C. Catford, Talmy Givón, J. W. M. Verharr and John U. Wolff. Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, Chamorro, Malay, Old Malay, Javanese, Old Javanese, Indonesian, Niases, Loniu, and Niuean are some of the languages discussed in the study. The essays explore the issues of ergativity in Western Austronesian languages, historical morphology, phonology, phonetics and morphophonemics.