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A Grammar of Tommo So by Laura McPherson

By Laura McPherson

Tommo So is a Dogon language with nearly 60,000 audio system in Mali, West Africa. As purely the second one complete grammatical description of a Dogon language, this quantity is a serious source for fixing the secret of Dogon's genetic association with different languages in Africa. Tommo So is an SOV language with keeping apart nominal morphology and agglutinative verbal morphology; suffixes at the verb mark tense/aspect/negation in addition to topic contract. The phonology is delicate to degrees of verbal morphology in that variable vowel concord applies much less usually as one strikes to outer layers of the morphology. The tone method of Tommo So is of typological curiosity in either its phonological and syntactic instantiations. Phonologically, it's a two-tone process of H and L, yet those detailed tones distinction with a surface-underspecified tone. Grammatically, the lexical tone of a note is usually overwritten through syntactically-induced overlays. for instance, an inalienable noun's tone might be changed with L whether it is possessed by way of a non-pronominal possessor, and by means of both H or HL if the possessor is pronominal. The language has additionally innovated a chain of locative quasi-verbs and concentration debris delicate to pragmatic components like walk in the park.

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Extra resources for A Grammar of Tommo So

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4 Vowel formants The graph in (32) plots the seven oral vowels with their values of the first and second formant (F1 and F2) in hertz, averaged across the analysis of several words, each repeated three times. (32) Tommo So vowel inventory with formant values 4 4 u: /túú, kúú, búdú/. o: /yògó, òbéélè, tòndòó, póó, óbó, wó/. ɔ: /tɔ́ndɔ̂m, úwɔ=mbe, bɔ̀gɔ́/. a: /àgá, yàbá, yáá/. ɛ: /ɛ́nɛ́, ígɛ́, dɛ́gɛ́, íbɛ́, ɛ́bɛ́/. e: /òbéélè, ìsé, négu, yàà=bé/. i: /íí, íbɛ́, ìsé/. Vowels 29 We can see that the mid and high vowels are much closer to one another than they are to the low vowel /a/.

Vowels 27 Given the restricted distribution of these two nasalized vowels, I do not treat them as phonemic. However, it should be noted that all nasalized vowels are extremely rare compared with their oral counterparts. This is especially true for the low vowel /aan/, whose phonemic status is based on a single regular lexical item páán ‘dry up’, which forms no true minimal pairs with oral /aa/. The other two nasal vowels, /ɔɔn/ and /ɛɛn/, appear in just five and three non-ideophonic native stems, respectively.

20) Minimal pairs for /ɲ/ vs… /j/ ɲǎm ‘fire’ jǎm ‘caste of leatherworkers’ /m/ íɲɲɛ́ ‘lift’ ímmɛ́ ‘inflate’ /n/ ɲǎm ‘fire’ nǎm ‘sun’ /ŋ/ dìɲɛ́ ‘burn’ dìŋɛ́ ‘tie’ /y/ ɲám [kúy nɔ́] ‘difficult’ ‘squirrel’ yám kúyɔ́ ‘wasted, broken’ ‘first’ The minimal pair ɲǎm ‘fire’ and jǎm ‘caste of leatherworkers’ is in fact the only minimal pair for /ɲ/ and /j/ since /j/ never occurs intervocalically or word-finally in native words. 10 /ŋ/ Before /i/, the velar nasal /ŋ/ is produced at a place of articulation intermediate between velar and palatal.

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