Only recently discovered by linguistic scholars, Tondi Songway Kiini
(TSK) is a refreshingly interesting tonal language spoken in the country
of Mali in western Africa.
This reference work provides for researchers an indispensable grammar
and dictionary of TSK. Moreover, this book can also serve students of
linguistics as a valuable overview of the grammar of a tonal African
Unlike the other Songhay languages for which modern reference grammars
are available, TSK preserves the lexical and grammatical tones of
the proto-language. While archaic in some respects, TSK has developed
unique (for Songhay) systems to express focalization and relativization.
Of special interest is how TSK's tone system, quite different from
more familiar Bantu tone systems, works in grammatical context.
Jeffrey Heath is professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan.