Sounding out ideas on language, vivid sensory words, and iconicity

GTM Workshop 2008

In 1968 Bernd Heine published the first comparative study of the so-called Togorestsprachen. Around the same time Kevin Ford and Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu were involved in the linguistic documentation of some of the languages of the Ghana-Togo mountains; Ford was writing a dissertation on Avatime (Siya) and doing comparative work on several other GTM languages besides; and Kropp Dakubu was compiling several voluminous comparative wordlists in the Comparative African Wordlists series. Their activities in the late 1960s and the early 1970s marked an initial wave of research into the GTM languages.

A full forty years later, these three eminent linguists are with us to take part in the second international workshop on on the description and documentation of the GTM languages. A very special occassion indeed. I’ll be giving a talk on ideophones and the slippery slope of expressivity in Siwu.


  1. Heine, Bernd. 1968. Die Verbreitung und Gliederung der Togorestsprachen. Berlin: Reimer.
  2. Kropp Dakubu, Mary Esther, and Kevin C Ford. 1988. The Central Togo Languages. In The Languages of Ghana, ed. Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu, 119-154. London: Kegan Paul.

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