Gabriel Delmon Djomeni
University of Cape Town
This book is the first and a detailed descriptive grammar of Bə̀mbələ̀, a Bantu Equatorial language spoken in Cameroon. It covers its phonology, morphology and syntax. It also includes some basic information on its writing system. The book is divided into seven chapters. It begins with the presentation of the language, its geographic location and the socioeconomic background of the community.
The first chapter analyses the phonology of the language with focus on its sound system and tone patterns. Chapter 2 addresses its noun morphology with focus on noun classes. Chapter 3 accounts for the modifiers of the noun. Chapter 4 tackles the elements of the verb group with attention on the verb and its satellites. Chapter 5 addresses the study of tense, aspect and mood and then negation in the language. Chapter 6 analyses the syntax of Bә̀mbәlә̀, bringing out its sentence constituents structure. Chapter 7 presents the alphabet and the orthography rules of the language.
The reader will be struck by the wealth of data provided and the detail of the analysis. Furthermore, the presentation of the data in three levels at the level of the noun and verb morphology gives the book a pedagogic and self-relying character.
ISBN 9783862885732. Languages of the World/Materials 502. 230pp. EUR 72.80. 2014.