New publication: A Grammar of Bora

This is the first comprehensive linguistic study of Bora, a typologically unusual language spoken in Colombia and Peru…This study will be of interest to all concerned with typological issues, South American languages and peoples, or tone studies.

-From the description provided by SIL International Publications

(April 2013) SIL International Publications recently released A Grammar of Bora with Special Attention to Tone. This new resource provides an extensive description of the grammar of the Bora language. Bora is spoken by between two and three thousand people, most of whom live in small, scattered communities in northeastern Peru.

A Grammar of Bora provides an analysis of the language’s complex system of lexical, morphological and grammatical tone. The book also describes Bora’s extensive use of classifiers—there are more than three hundred. Many of these classifiers indicate the physical characteristics of a noun (e.g., its shape), as is common in many languages, but some of Bora’s classifiers indicate features characteristic of pronouns (e.g., gender and number) and others are more like lexical items (e.g., ‘child’).

In addition to linguistic analysis, the book provides an introduction to Bora traditional cultural practices, including kinship terminology and the use of signal drums.

A Grammar of Bora was co-authored by Wesley Thiesen and David Weber. Thiesen and his late wife, Eva, spent many years learning the Bora language, conducting language and culture research and working with Bora-speaking people in community development and language development efforts, including mother tongue literacy and implementing bilingual education in cooperation with Peru's Ministry of Education. Weber holds a doctorate in linguistics from UCLA and has extensive experience in language development and linguistic research. He serves on the faculty of CILTA and the summer faculty of SIL’s training program at the University of North Dakota and was a linguistics consultant for SIL International for 28 years.

Purchase A Grammar of Bora with Special Attention to Tone from SIL International Publications

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