Western Washington University
This book provides an account of the phonological, morphological and grammatical traits of Wolof as spoken in Senegal. Wolof belongs to the West Atlantic language family, which in turn belongs to the larger Niger-Congo phylum. The language is primarily spoken in Senegal and The Gambia. About 10 million people in the following West African states speak it: Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mauritania. Nowadays, Wolof is one of the major languages used both by individuals with different historical and linguistic background, and by the radio stations in The Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania. The language has eight noun classes and a rich inflectional morphology. Classical Arabic and standard French have influenced Wolof. The Arabic influence is due to the fact that over 80 % of Wolof speakers are Muslim. The French influence dates back to the French colonization of Senegal. Thus, various lexical units are borrowed from these languages and are generally adapted to the linguistic system of the language by means of morpho-phonological rules.
Despite the important scope of the language in these countries, practical work dealing with its grammar is still limited. This book aims at filling that gap. Thus, it provides a detailed description of the grammatical patterns of Wolof spoken in Senegal. The first chapter provides a detailed description of the Wolof phonemic system (consonant and vowel system). The second chapter focuses on the nominal system of the language. The third chapter deals with the verbal system. The fourth chapter examines the negation forms in the language. The fifth chapter deals with the basic syntactic features of Wolof. Finally, the book provides a Wolof text with an interlinear translation.
ISBN 9783895866166. Languages of the World/Materials 333. 112pp. 2003.