This book provides a typological overview of the different manifestations of grammaticalized case systems in African languages. After defining and distinguishing case systems, Christa Koenig begins a thorough analysis of case in roughly 100 African languages and reveals several features, such as tone as a marker for case and the marked-nominative system, which are rare phenomena in other languages of the world. Wherever possible, the author takes into account
data from her own substantial and highly regarded field research. The book provides answers to questions such as the following: What is the relationship between definiteness and case. Are case phenomena areally or genetically motivated? Why are case distinctions neutralized in nearly all case languages with
verb initial or verb medial word order? Which grammaticalizations appear with case? What is the relationship between topics and nominative cases, or focus and accusative cases?
Christa Koenig is a Lecturer in African cultures and languages at the Centre for African Studies, University of Frankfurt. She has taught at the universities of Cologne, Zurich, and Gwangjuk (Korea), and has carried out field research in East Africa and Namibia; she is presently working on the Khoisan language !Xun. Her book publications include Aspekt in Maa (1994) and Kasus im Ik (2002).