Download A Grammar of Koyra Chiini: The Songhay of Timbuktu (Mouton by Jeffrey Heath PDF

By Jeffrey Heath

This article offers grammar in English of a language of the Songhay relations of West Africa. The emphasis is on grammatical different types and morphosyntax. issues contain: focalization and relativization, logophoric pronouns, conjunctions and serial verbs.

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Additional info for A Grammar of Koyra Chiini: The Songhay of Timbuktu (Mouton Grammar Library, 19)

Sample text

1). (35a), where the quality of the second input vowel prevails, is the productive pattern, and is compatible with the further data on contractions in the following sections. An approximation to the productive contraction rule can be given as (36). (36) VV-Contraction (simplified) V,(:) + V2 -> V2: That is, two vowels may combine to form a surface long vowel with the quality features of the second input vowel. The second input vowel is almost always short, since no grammatical morphemes and very few stems begin with a long vowel.

G. meysa, but there is no evidence against the other interpretation. There are a small number of cases of dialectal variation between a pronunciation with syllable-final nasal and an alternative with nasalized vowel or diphthongal coda. Most involve CVN stems: dan ~ daw- daw 'cross', hem ~ hee 'weep', mom ~ mow ~ mow 'hear', nan ~ now ~ now 'abandon'. In each case, the pronunciation with nasal consonant is standard in Timbuktu. On the other hand, in the bisyllabic stem hine ~ hiye-tiiye 'tooth', variation occurs even within Timbuktu.

In Timbuktu I also had difficulty distinguishing a from o in several words of the type Cjqgu and C_mbu, the vowel filling the blank often being heard as [o]: joggu 'hundred', noqgu 'place', worjgu 'war' and 'refuse', combu 'glass, bowl', sombu 'lift (child to breast)'. I generally write them as just shown, with o, in texts but give both pronunciations (if attested) in the dictionary. I have heard a consistently in gambu 'door', baqgu 'floodplain' (or 'circumcision'), and hambur 'fear'; I have heard o consistently in fombu 'melon seeds', jombu 'grain residue after pounding', and hoijgu 'believe'.

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