A Grammar of Jamsay (Mouton Grammar Library) by Heath, Jeffrey

By Heath, Jeffrey

Jamsay is the largest-population language between a few twenty Dogon languages in Mali, West Africa. this can be the 1st finished grammar of any Dogon language, together with an entire tonology. The language is verb-final, with topic contract at the verb and without different case-marking. Its such a lot outstanding characteristic is the morphosyntactically prompted use of stem-wide tone-contour overlays on nouns, verbs, and adjectives. All stems have a lexical tone contour equivalent to H[igh], L[ow]-H, HL, or LHL with a minimum of one H-tone. An examination of tone overlay is tone-dropping to stem-wide all-L. this can be used for Perfective verbs (in the presence of a focalized constituent), and for a noun or adjective prior to an adjective. it's also used to mark the top NP in a relative clause (the head NP isn't really extracted, so this is often the single direct indication of head NP status). The verb in a relative clause is morphologically a participle, agreeing with the pinnacle NP in humanness and quantity, instead of with the topic. ""Intonation"" is used grammatically. for instance, NP conjunction 'X and Y' is expressed as X Y, and not using a conjunction, yet with ""dying-quail"" intonation on either conjuncts.

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Extra resources for A Grammar of Jamsay (Mouton Grammar Library)

Sample text

1). NPs and independent pronouns are regularly placed to the left of a sentence, usually with at least some prosodic break. The sentence proper usually has pronouns coindexed to these presentential topical NPs (17). This is especially diagnostic of topicalization in the case of objects, since a pronominal object is not used in addition to a clause-mate nonpronominal object NP. Many times, what looks at first sight like a clause-internal NP in subject or object function is actually a presentential topic.

G. pa$Na@ ‘strength’, nE$NE@ ‘knee’, tu@No@- ‘kneel’. The homorganic clusters Nk and Ng are fairly common (ta@Nka$ ‘colonial coin’ go@Ngo@ ‘tin can’). N can occur finally: ju^N ‘hump’, ba&N ‘hippopotamus’. 4 Voiceless labials (p, f) p is a well-established native consonantal phoneme. f occurs in loanwords: ma$lfa^˘< ‘rifle’, fu@˘ ‘all’. There are dialectal variants with p instead of f (ma$lpa^˘<, pu@˘). Educated Dogon “know” that f is a mispronunciation of p. I have had informants who self-corrected their pronunciations accordingly to this “rule,” while slipping back into f in natural speech.

1 Initial CC clusters Initial clusters are largely absent. However, Fulfulde has some nouns with initial nasal-stop sequence, and of these n$ja^˘l ‘bastard’ at least has found its way into Jamsay. 2 Medial geminated CC clusters No cases of geminate ww, w

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