© 2010

Topics in Kwa Syntax

  • Enoch O. Aboh
  • James Essegbey
  • The first book to treat a range of topics in the syntax of Kwa

  • Written by experts who are mostly native speakers

  • Presents a wealth of empirical data and demonstrates their theoretical relevance to comparative linguistics and comparative syntax


Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 78)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Enoch O. Aboh, James Essegbey
    Pages 1-9
  3. Enoch O. Aboh
    Pages 11-37
  4. Enoch O. Aboh, James Essegbey
    Pages 39-64
  5. Kofi K. Saah
    Pages 91-107
  6. Enoch O. Aboh
    Pages 109-139
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 233-237

About this book


Edited by two leading experts on the languages of West Africa, this volume is the very first book to handle a range of topics in the syntax of Kwa, a branch of the Niger-Congo language family spoken by approximately 20 million people in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin and in the extreme southwestern corner of Nigeria. Kwa includes a total of 45 related languages. The nine chapters each address a separate grammatical aspect of Kwa. These range from topics such as the verb phrase, argument structure, verb serialization and complex predicates, to discussions on tense, mood, and aspect and their relation to the structure of sentences. Also addressed are the structure of the noun phrase and the syntax of discourse particles.

The studies in this volume demonstrate that Kwa languages offer a very rich empirical domain for linguistic theorizing. In this book, experts who are mostly native speakers present empirical data and show its theoretical relevance to comparative linguistics and comparative syntax. The book brings together a wealth of material and fresh insights and is a superb example of how empirical research feeds into typological and theoretical linguistics. As such, it is a gold mine to students and teachers of comparative syntax, as well as for anyone interested in studies on Niger Congo languages.


Index Negation Syntax Verb aspect comparative morpho-syntax present relative clauses subject verb phrase

Editors and affiliations

  • Enoch O. Aboh
    • 1
  • James Essegbey
    • 2
  1. 1.Fac. HumanitiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands
  2. 2.Dept. African & Asian Languages &University of FloridaGainesvilleU.S.A.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Topics in Kwa Syntax
  • Editors Enoch O. Aboh
    James Essegbey
  • Series Title Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory
  • Series Abbreviated Title Studies Natural Language
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-481-3188-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-007-3138-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-90-481-3189-1
  • Series ISSN 0924-4670
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 237
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Grammar
    Comparative Linguistics
    African Languages
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

“The editors are to be congratulated on putting together an excellent collection of articles on  a group of languages that should be more widely discussed. Experienced scholars of Kwa will find it a useful guide to what is being done in languages outside their own specialization.” (Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu, Studies in Language, 34:2)

“Although written by and for linguists with special expertise and interest in Kwa languages, this volume has much to offer creolists, especially but not only those investigating the development of Atlantic creoles. The data and analyses will be most useful to those researching the historical connections between Gbe and other West African language groupings and the grammars of creoles of the New World, a value enhanced by depth of detail not only about individual languages but also about differences among them.” (George L. Huttar, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, Vol. 28 (1), 2013)