Conditional constructions in African languages


  • Steve Nicolle


conditional, Chadic, Nilotic, Mande, Niger-Congo, Bantu


This paper serves as an introduction to the special issue of Studies in African Linguistics devoted to conditional constructions in African languages. I first describe the motivation for this volume and the common terminological conventions used in the papers, before discussing some of the more influential attempts to categorize conditional constructions together with some of the functions of conditional constructions. I then present an overview of conditional constructions in African languages, noting the various kinds of conditional meanings that are distinguished grammatically in different languages, and types of isomorphism between conditional constructions and other categories. I conclude with a note on concessive conditionals.