Studies in African Linguistics

Articles

Vol. 43, No. 2, 2014

Subject Marking Interrupted: Perturbations from the Development of Northern Mao's Future Tense Suffix1
Northern Mao, an Omotic-Mao language of Ethiopia, exhibits three partially overlapping but distinct subject-marking paradigms in its verbal system: subject prefixes on realis verbs which correspond closely to free pronouns, subject suffixes on irrealis...
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Exceptional Patterns of Object Marking in Bantu
This article discusses three main phenomena in the morpho-syntax and morpho-phonology of Bantu languages in which the 1SG object prefix (OP) and/or the reflexive, display anoma-lous properties compared to other OPs. (i) The 1SG OP and the reflexive commonly...
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Discourse Functions of Demonstratives in Eastern Bantu Narrative Texts
Demonstratives are an important feature of many eastern Bantu narrative texts. In addition to a basic tracking use, in which demonstratives are used to refer to different participants in a narrative, at least four additional functions can be identified:...
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Vol. 43, No. 1, 2014

Unlocking the Ik Instrumental Case1
Ik, a Kuliak (Nilo-Saharan) language spoken by roughly 7000 people in northeastern Uganda, has up to now been described as having a case system with seven cases (König 2002, 2008). However, evidence from morphophonological variations on case suffixes...
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Body-Part Adpositions in Gaahmg - Grammaticalized Forms with Person-Marker Vowels
Many African languages employ body parts as adpositions (Heine 1989), the general pattern in Gaahmg, with one locative postposition perhaps derived from 'vagina'. In addition, Gaahmg has locative postpositions and locative pronouns that include a person-marker...
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Vol. 42, No. 2, 2013

Ternary Spreading and the Ocp in Copperbelt Bemba
Bemba tonology has been described with respect to two prominent claims: H tone local spreading is binary, and is blocked by the OCP. These claims are based on Bemba, as spoken in Northern Zambia. This paper examines these two claims with respect to contemporary...
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Second Person Agreement Allomorphy in Masarak1
Masarak (also known as Masalit, sometimes spelled Massaleit), an endangered Nilo-Saharan language spoken in Darfur, is characterized by complex agreement patterns, particularly in the second person. This article outlines Masarak agreement patterns in...
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THE FUNCTION OF THE POST VERBAL la IN DAGBANI
This paper investigates the function(s) of the post verbal particle la in Dagbani, a Gur language spoken in Northern Ghana. I contend that the particle marks neither imperfective aspect nor contrastive focus on NP objects and adjuncts, as suggested by...
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Vol. 42, No. 1, 2013

Three-Place Predicates in West African Serializing Languages
The widespread assumption that serializing languages use serial verb constructions (SVCs) to code three-participant situations and therefore lack three-place predicates and three-place mono-verbal constructions is shown not to be valid for West African...
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Indirect Object and Benfactive Predications in Chadic: A Typological Sketch
The aim of the present study is to propose, for the first time, a typology of the forms and functions related to the indirect object and benefactive predications in Chadic languages. Some languages have grammaticalized only the indirect object predication;...
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Demarcating Emai Dative Constructions
1. IntroductionThis paper investigates the formal and functional character of a dative relation and two additional structural relations in Emai, an Edoid language of West Benue Congo stock (Bendor-Samuel 1989, Williamson and Blench 2000). Each relation...
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Vol. 41, No. 2, 2012

Bondu-So Vowel Harmony: A Descriptive Analysis with Theoretical Implications
This paper provides a descriptive analysis of the [ATR] vowel harmony system of Bondu-so (Dogon, Mali), a previously undocumented language. Data come from fieldwork and have not yet been published. While Bondu-so has seven surface vowels, namely, two...
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Prenominal Relative Clauses in Ethiopian Languages: From Inside and from Outside
1. IntroductionThe Ethiopian Language Area - including Ethiopia and Eritrea, as traditionally conceived - has been the subject of many studies for more than half a century (Leslau 1945, Greenberg 1959: 24, Ferguson 1970, 1976, Heine 1975: 41, Appleyard...
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Locationals in Oromo1
This is a study of the locational structures of Oromo. A range of syntactic constructions types is considered within a single synchronic grammaticalization schema. Speaker choices of particular structures within discourse are also identified and explored....
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Vol. 41, No. 1, 2012

The Basse Mandinka "Future"
The present paper provides a detailed analysis of the semantic content of the BE...LA formation found in the Basse Mandinka language. It demonstrates that the meaning of this locution corresponds to a complex set of various temporal, aspectual and modal...
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Notes on Gwama Grammar1
Based on original field work, the paper provides a preliminary characterization of the grammar of Gwama, a little-researched Nilo-Saharan language of western Ethiopia belonging to the Koman language cluster. Following a brief overview of the phonology,...
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Morpho-Phonological Levels and Grammaticalization in Karimojong: A Review of the Evidence1
An analysis of the affixation processes and the phonological rules governing [ATR] harmony in Karimojong verbs permits the organization of derivational processes into three levels. On each level specific groups of morphemes are affixed and the resultant...
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Vol. 40, No. 1/2, 2011

Auxiliary Verb Constructions in the Languages of Africa
(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)Auxiliary verb constructions-constructions with two or more elements of verbal origin, one of which expresses functional semantic categories-are widespread among the languages of Africa. In the following...
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Vol. 39, No. 2, 2010

Voice Contrast and Cumulative Faithfulness in Luwanga Nouns*
Luwanga has a seemingly allophonic surface distribution of voiced and voiceless obstruents. This commonplace distribution typically requires the proposition that segments are specified as either [±voice] underlyingly, with their counterparts derived...
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Plural Strategies in Yorùbá1
This paper accounts for the strategies that Yorùbá adopts to mark plural. One way in which plural is marked syntactically is by certain plural words. The plural word can either interpret the noun as plural directly as in the case of àwon and quantifying...
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2nd Department of African Language and Literature International Conference
(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)12-14-Jul-2012Gaborone, BotswanaContact Person: Pearl Seloma, selomap@mopipi.ub.bwCall for papers deadline: 30-Apr-2012Conference Theme: African Languages, Literatures and Cultures in DevelopmentThis is an international...
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Vol. 39, No. 1, 2010

Issues in Noun Classification and Noun Class Assignment in Gújjolay Eegimaa1 (Banjal) and Other Jóola Languages
In his book on gender Corbett observes that establishing the number of genders or noun classes in a given language 'can be the subject of interminable dispute' (1991: 145). Jóola languages like Gújjolaay Eegimaa (bqj, Atlantic, Niger-Congo) have noun...
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Publications Received
All of these books are available for review:Caron, Bernard éd. 2008. Subordination, dépendance et parataxe dans les langues africaines (Afrique et Langage 12). Louvain and Paris: Peeters. ISBN: 978-90-429-2166-5; Pages: 200 p. Price: 60 EURO.Summary...
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Conference Announcements
WOCAL 7 (Cameroon)6 April 2011: Last week, the organizers of WOCAL7-Buea announced a workshop on post-verbal negation in African languages. This workshop is to take place within the frame of WOCAL7, which will be held in Buea, Cameroon from August 20...
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Vol. 38, No. 2, 2009

The Curious Case of Auxiliary -Many'a in Lwitaxo
Lwitaxo, one of the Luhya languages of Kenya, has an auxiliary verb of the form -many'a that occurs in compound constructions that express either a generic reading ("normally do V") or a culminative reading ("ended up Ving"). This verb is identical in...
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What Happens to Class When a Language Dies? Language Change vs. Language Death1
(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)1. IntroductionThis paper presents the first documentation of the noun class system of the dying language Mani (buy), "Bullom So" in Ethnologue, a.k.a. Mmani, Mandenyi, etc.) spoken in Guinea and Sierra Leone....
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The 'Forgotten' Structure of Ikalanga Relatives
Demuth and Harford (1999) contend that in Bantu relatives, the verb raises from I-C if the relative morpheme is a bound morpheme while the subject remains in spec-IP resulting in subject -verb inversion. Ikalanga, a Bantu language spoken in Botswana...
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Symbolic Indexing in Oromo*
This paper identifies a general phonic pattern of indexing on referential, spatiotemporal, and logical structures in Oromo. Final -n(V) marking across these different grammatical forms correlates with assumed accessibility of referents and of other information...
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Letter from the Editor
Greetings from the editor, who hopes that all readers will enjoy this the last number (38.2 (2009)) of SAL in its traditional format, i.e., with the print version as primary. The news that I wish to convey here has mostly to do with SAL's transition...
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Vol. 38, No. 1, 2009

A Sketch of Afitti Phonology
AbstractPolitical conflict in the Sudan and the spread of Arabic are threatening Afitti, a North Eastern Sudanic language that has received relatively little scholarly attention. In addition to presenting original data on the language, this paper shows...
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Luganda Verb Morphology: A New Analysis of the Suffixes [-Ye] and [-A] and Their Distribution across the Indicative, Subjunctive and Imperative Moods
In this paper, I propose a novel morphological analysis of the Luganda (ISO 639-3: lug) verbal suffixes [-YE] and [-A]. I argue that the suffix [-YE] is bi-morphemic: [-Y] is a Perfective aspect morpheme, while [-E] is a functional suffix found in linguistic...
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Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring

Publications Received
Abu-Maganga, Al-Amin, Leoma Gilley & Anne Storch (eds.) Insights into Nilo-Saharan Language, History and Culture. Proceedings of the 9th Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium). (Nilo-Saharan Linguistic Analyses and Documentation, volume 23). Cologne:...
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Carl Friedrich Hoffmann (1925-2007)
Carl Hoffmann was a leading German Chadicist and Africanist, who was influential in the foundations of the Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages of the University of Ibadan between 1962 and 1978, and who was instrumental in establishing African...
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John Massie Stewart (1926-2006)
Born in Lossiemouth, Scotland, in 1926, John Stewart joined the army near the end of World War II, and in August 1945 was sent to serve in both Indonesia and Palestine, where he showed his flair for languages. In 1947 he began his degree course in French...
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Anthony Traill (1938-2007)
Sadly I report the death of Anthony Traill, noted phonetician and general expert on Khoisan and other languages of southern Africa. Tony's most important scholarly contributions were in phonetics, especially his extensive work on clicks, e.g., Traill...
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Vol. 35, No. 2, Fall

Grammatical Relations in Ikalanga*
Although facts about grammatical relations in many Bantu languages have been established since the early 1970s, there are still languages in this family which have not benefited from such studies. One of these is Ikalanga, spoken in Botswana and Zimbabwe....
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Publications Received
Khidir, Zakaria Fadoul. Bases et radicaux verbaux. Déverbatifs et déverbaux du beria (langue saharienne). (Nilo-Saharan Linguistic Analyses and Documentation, volume 20). Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. 2005. Pp. 183, 2 maps, numerous tables. ISBN 978-3-89645-138-5....
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Vol. 35, No. 1, Spring

Archaeology, Language, and the African Past
Blench, Roger. Archaeology, Language, and the African Past. (African Archaeology Series, vol. 10. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. 2006. Pp. xxv, 361. ISBN 0-7591-0446-2. Paperback. $44.95.This book comprehensively surveys the history of African language...
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Vol. 34, No. 2, Fall

A Diachronic Onomasiological Approach to Early Bantu Oil Palm Vocabulary*
Despite its ancient and long-lasting importance to sub-Saharan African economies, there has been no systematic attempt to reconstruct Proto-Bantu vocabulary referring to the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.). Scholars have identified four common noun...
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Das K'abeena. Deskriptive Grammatik Einer Hochlandostkuschitischen Sprache
Crass, Joachim. Das K'abeena. Deskriptive Grammatik einer Hochlandostkuschilischen Sprache. (Cushitic Language Studies, vol. 23). Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. Pp. viii, 383. 1 map, 52 tables, 1 illustration. ISBN 3-89645-480-3. Paperback. euro60.00.The...
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ÉLéments De Description Du Langi, Langue Bantu F33 De Tanzanie: Phonologie - Grammaire - Lexique
Dunham, Margaret. Éléments de Description du Langi, Langue Bantu F33 de Tanzanie: Phonologie - Grammaire - Lexique. (Langues et Littératures de l'Afrique Noire 13, SELAF n^sup o^ 413). Leuven/Paris/Dudley, MA: Éditions Peeters. 2005. Pp. vi, 335. ISBN...
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Four Wordlists of Extinct Cape Khoekhoe from the 18th Century*
The Khoekhoe language, a member of the Khoisan family, was widely spoken by Southern Africa pastoralists and hunters-gatherers a few centuries ago. Apart from varieties still spoken in the 20th century (such as Nama in Namibia), very little is known...
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Information Structuring in Akan Question-Word Fronting and Focus Constructions*
Wh-question fronting and focus constructions in Akan have three structural characteristics in common: constituent fronting, introduction of a clitic morpheme after the fronted constituent, and pronoun resumption in a canonical clause position. In comparing...
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The Noun Morphology of Western Nilotic
Storch, Anne. The Noun Morphology of Western Nilotic. (Nilo-Saharan Linguistic Analyses and Documentation, vol. 21). Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. 2005. Pp. 448; 1 colored map, 3 b/w maps, numerous tables and charts. ISBN 3-89645-139-1. Paperback. euro64.00.Comparative...
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Vol. 34, No. 1, Spring

Publications Received
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED Deen, Kamil Ud. The Acquisition of Swahili. (Language Acquisition and Language Disorders, vol. 40). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing. 2004. Pp. x, 241. ISBN 90-272-5300-5. Hardcover. $132.00Acquisition of verbal...
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Upcoming Meetings on African Languages / Linguistics
2006March 17-1934TH NORTH AMERICAN CONFERENCE ON AFROASIATIC LINGUISTICS. Seattle. Conference webpage: http://www.nacal.org.April 6-9ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN LINGUISTICS 37. University of Oregon. Abstract deadline: December 7, 2005. Contact: conference...
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