By Jeffrey Heath
This article provides grammar in English of a language of the Songhay relations of West Africa. The emphasis is on grammatical different types and morphosyntax. subject matters contain: focalization and relativization, logophoric pronouns, conjunctions and serial verbs.
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Extra resources for A Grammar of Koyra Chiini: The Songhay of Timbuktu (Mouton Grammar Library, 19)
1. If so,//kaa^ o//—> [kai] (35c) is similar to //a^ o// —>[a:] (35b). In any event, the output [kaj] for //kaa^ (a_^) o// is indistinguishable from that of simple kaa, the effect being that imperfective (with //o//) and the unmarked perfective aspect are phonetically indistinguishable in subject relatives; in texts we transcribe both as simple kaa with no attempt to indicate whether Impf is present. In nonsubject relatives with 3Sg subject, we get a structurally different sequence kaa a-a, which if contracted is transcribed kaa^a-a with all morphemes shown.
5. The plural forms of certain bisyllabic pronouns constitute a special case. 1 for a general treatment of personal pronouns. Of interest here are the forms Logo/3ReflPl rjgu-yo - qgi-yoand 3P1F1 qgi-yo. These can be analysed as consisting of Logo/3ReflSg rjgu or 3SgF rjga plus PI yo, but these high-frequency combinations are rather frozen and are vulnerable to contractions. Leaving aside the ηg onset, which can be reduced to η or palatalized (before /) to nj, I hear the remainder variously as uyo, iyo, as uya, iya (or uye, iye) with loss of rounding in the final vowel, or as contracted ee.
1. We will write ay (nasalized äy) and aw word-initially, after stem-initial , and in words like gäysi. Elsewhere we will write ey and ow, though the actual phonetic vowels are closer to [ej] and [DW] and there is some dialectal variability. Examples of ey include bey 'know', dey 'buy', derey 'become lost', key 'stop', key 'weave', sey 'sow (grain)', and sey 'fever'. ', bow 'be abundant', bukow 'corpse', hasar-ow 'destruction' (cf. hasara 'be ruined'), hirow - hurow 'enter', yow 'bull'. 10. There are two types of lexical item which may go against the normal pattern and maintain phonemic oppositions between ey and ay and between ow and aw.