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cover

A Grammar of Lele

Zygmunt Frajzyngier

Inadvertently, African languages have been neglected by many of those performing research in the field of linguistics. In an attempt to expand and diversify the research base of African languages, a handful of linguists have begun to focus their attention on lesser-known languages.

A Grammar of Lele is the first book ever written on Lele, an endangered language spoken in the Republic of Chad. The language belongs to the Chadic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family, whose other members are Semitic, Egyptian, Cushitic, Omotic, and Berber. This book explores the use of vowel harmony as a means of coding categories of morphemes. Suffixes undergo vowel harmony rules; clitics do not, and must occur in specified contexts; free morphemes, which also do not undergo vowel harmony rules, have relatively free distribution. The language has also an intriguing reference system, complex sentence structures, and the coding of backgrounding. The study of these and other categories and structures not encountered in the more familiar Indo-European languages will appeal to lovers of languages and linguistics.

Zygmunt Frajzyngier, professor of linguistics at University of Colorado, has published grammars and dictionaries of several African languages, and comparative studies in African linguistics. He has also published numerous theoretical articals in journals and collected volumes on linguistics.

Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • 1 Introduction

  • 1 Geographical Information
  • 2 Sources
  • 3 A Brief Outline of Lele Grammar
    • 3.1 Phonology
    • 3.2 Lexical Categories
    • 3.3 Morphology

    2 Phonology

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Inventory and Phonotactics of Consonants
    • 2.1 Inventory of Consonants
    • 2.2 Intervolvalic Voicing
    • 2.3 Constraints on Consonants in Word-final Position
    • 2.4 The *CVCVr/n Constraint
    • 2.5 Word-final Devoicing
    • 2.6 Velar Stop Palatalization
    • 2.7 Consonant Clusters
    • 2.8 Clusters with Nasal Consonants and Nasalization of Vowels
    • 2.9 Nasal Disimilation
    • 2.10 Liquid — stop
    • 2.11 The Constraint *α lace αplace
  • 3 The Vowel System
    • 3.1 The Inventory of Vowels
    • 3.2 The Vowel Insertion Rule
  • 4 Vowel Harmony Rules
    • 4.1 High-Low Vowel Harmony
    • 4.2 Barriers to Front-back Vowel Harmony
  • 5 The Tonal System
    • 5.1 Tonal Inventory and the Functions of Tone
    • 5.2 Tone and Vowel Deletion
    • 5.3 Tone Insertion in Syllabification
    • 5.4 Tone and Syllabic Structure
  • 6 The Morphology of the Verb
    • 6.1 The Underlying Form of the Verb
    • 6.2 The Formation of the Future and Nominal Forms
    • 6.3 Summary of the Derivation of the Verbal Forms
  • 7 Conclusions
  • 3 The Structure of the Noun Phrase

  • 1 Defining Characteristics of the Noun Phrase
  • 2 Phonological Structure of Nouns
  • 3 Major and minor semantic classes
  • 4 Gender
  • 5 The nominal plural
    • 5.1 The Plural Suffix
    • 5.2 Plural through Insertion of a
    • 5.3 Plural Suffix we
    • 5.4 Plural through Initial Devoicing
    • 5.5 Suppletive Plurals
  • 6 Nouns without Singular-plural Distinction
  • 7 Collective
  • 8 Possessive Constructions
    • 8.1 Possessive Pronouns for Inalienable Possession
    • 8.2 The Tonal Structure of Possessive Pronouns
    • 8.3 Inalienable Possessive Constructions and Nominal Possessors
    • 8.4 On the Nature of ‘Inalienable’ Nouns
    • 8.5 Pronominal Alienable Possession
    • 8.6 Alienable Nominal Possessives
    • 8.7 Functions of Alienable and Inalienable Construction
    • 8.8 Coreference and Disjoint Reference in Possessive Constructions
  • 9 Modification of One Noun by Another
    • 9.1 The Coding of Attributes
    • 9.2 Coding the Domain de Dicto of the Head Noun
    • 9.3 Coding the Domain de Re of the Head Noun
  • 10 Nouns Modified by Verbs
  • 11 Nouns Modified by Demonstratives
  • 12 Indefinite Modifiers
  • 13 Nouns Modified by Quantifiers
  • 14 Nouns Modified by Verbs
  • 15 Nouns Modified by Demonstratives
    • 15.1 The Attributive Function through Configuration
    • 15.2 Coding the Referentiality of the Head of a Modifying Construction
    • 15.3 Referentiality of the Head Coded on a Property Concept Verb
  • 16 A Noun Modified by a Numeral
  • 17 Attributive Constructions with Numerals
  • 18 Conjoined Noun Phrases
  • 19 Conclusions
  • 4 Coding Arguments

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Category ‘subject’
    • 2.1 Pronominal Subjects
    • 2.2 Unspecified Subjects: Human and Locative
    • 2.3 Conjoined Nounsin the Subject Function
  • 3 The Argument Structure of Verbs of Being and Becoming
  • 4 Property Concept Verbs
  • 5 Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
  • 6 Arguments of Transitive Verbs
  • 7 Interaction of Subject and Object Pronouns
  • 8 Unspecified Objects: Human, Non-Human, and Place
  • 9 Argument Structure of Verbs of Fearing and Loving
  • 10 The Argument Structure of the Verb jé ‘throw’
  • 11 Predication of the Internal States
  • 12 The Structure of the Verb sí ‘put, resemble’
  • 13 Serial Verb Construction
    • 13.1 Formal Properties of Serial Verb Constructions
    • 13.2 The Adverbial Function of Serial Verb Constructions
    • 13.3 The Addition of an Argument through Serial Verb Construction
    • 13.4 Serial Verb Construction with Different Objects
  • 14 Coding the Plurality of Verbs
    • 14.1 Forms of Verbal Plurality
    • 14.2 The Functions of Verbal Plurality
    • 14.3 Verbs without Pural forms
  • 15 Dative and Benefactive Arguments
    • 15.1 Double Object Constructions
    • 15.2 Coding the Dative through the Preposition
  • 16 The Affectedness of the Subject and Reciprocal Coding
  • 17 Source
  • 18 The Associative Construction
  • 19 Coding the Topic of a Mental Verb
  • 20 Coding the Affectedness of the Subject:
  • 21 Coding the Affectedness of the Subject:
  • 22 Locative Argument Marking
    • 22.1 Semantic Properties of Verbs of Movement
    • 22.2 Inherently Locative Nouns and Directional Verbs
    • 22.3 Coding the Locative through Prepositions
    • 22.4 Coding the Locative through the Postposition ni
    • 22.5 Spatial Orientation with Respect to the Deitic Center
    • 22.6 Animate Locatives
    • 22.7 The Nominal Object of the è ‘go’
  • 23 Conclusions
  • 5 Adjuncts

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Locative Adverbs
  • 3 Adverbs of Time
  • 4 Adverbs of Manner
    • 4.1 Inherent adverbs
    • 4.2 Adverbial Expressions with a Copula and Negation
  • 5 Ideophones
  • 6 Adverbs through Reduplication
  • 7 Non-inherent Adverbs
  • 8 Conclusions
  • 6 Tenses

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Past Form
  • 3 Past and Present Tense through the Nominalization Form
  • 4 Future Tenses
    • 4.1 Inflectional Future
    • 4.2 The Future with the Auxiliary éè ‘go’
  • 5 Conclusions
  • 7 Aspect and Pragmatically Dependent Causes

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Telic
    • 2.1 Form and Function of Telic
    • 2.2 Grammaticalization of the Telic
  • 3 The Inceptive
    • 3.1 The Form and Function of Inceptive Aspect
    • 3.2 Grammaticalization of the Inceptive Marker
  • 4 The Durative
  • 5 Pragmatic Dependency
  • 6 Conclusions
  • 8 Coding the Deixis of an Event
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Ventive
    • 2.1 Form and Function of Telic
    • 2.2 Grammaticalization of the Telic
  • 3 The Inceptive
    • 3.1 The Form and Function of Ventive
    • 3.2 Grammaticalization of the Ventive
    • 3.3 Lexicalization of the Ventive Construction
  • 4 The Allative
  • 5 Conclusions
  • 9 Equational Clauses

  • 1 The Scope of the Chapter
  • 2 Equational CLauses
  • 3 Identificational Clauses
  • 4 The Grammaticalization of the Copula
  • 5 Tense and Aspect in Equational Clauses
  • 6 Equational Clauses with Property Concept Predicates
  • 7 Conclusions
  • 10 Possessive, Locative and Existential Clauses

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Possessive Clauses: X has Y
  • 3 Tense in Possessive Clauses
  • 4 Locative Sentences: X is Located at Y
  • 5 Existential Clauses
  • 6 Conclusions
  • 11 Reference Systems

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Deixis
  • 3 Definiteness
    • 3.1 Form of the Definite Marker
    • 3.2 Functions of the Definite Marker
    • 3.3 Definiteness and Possessive Constructions
  • 4 Referentiality
  • 5 Indefiniteness
    • 5.1 Coding the Indefiniteness of Arguments and Adjuncts
    • 5.2 Coding Indefiniteness in the Background Information
  • 6 The Subject of Anaphora
  • 7 The Role of Subject Anaphora
    • 7.1 Third-person Subject Pronouns
    • 7.2 Switch-reference in Complex Sentences
  • 8 Anaphora for the Object
    • 8.1 Overt Coding of Object and Human-non-human Distinction
    • 8.2 Nominal Object Versus Unmarked Object
  • 9 Coding the Adjunct through an Anaphora
  • 10 Locative Deixis
  • 11 Locative and Time Anaphoras
  • 12 The Propositional Anaphora
  • 13 Anaphora to the Verb
  • 14 Conclusions
  • 12 Modality

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Indicative Modality
  • 3 Dubitative Modality
  • 4 Hypothetical Modality
  • 5 Imperative and Subjunctive Modalities
    • 5.1 Giving Orders
    • 5.2 The Subjuntive
  • 6 Permission
  • 7 Prohibitive Modality
  • 8 The Coding of Sufficient Condition
  • 9 Conclusions
  • 13 Interrogative Clauses

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Contrastive Focus on the Subject
  • 3 Specific Interrogative Clauses
    • 3.1 General Properties of Specific Interrogatives
    • 3.2 Questions about the Subject
    • 3.3 Questions about the Object
    • 3.4 Questions about the Dative and other Prepositional Arguments
    • 3.5 Questions about the Associative Argument
    • 3.6 Questions about the Locative
    • 3.7 Questions about the Manner
    • 3.6 Questions about the Reason
    • 3.7 Questions about the Possessor
    • 3.7 Questions about Time
  • 4 Conclusions
  • 14 Negation

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Negation of Equational Clauses
  • 3 Negation of Possessive Clauses
  • 4 Negation of Verbal Clauses
  • 5 Negation and Quantification
  • 6 Conclusions
  • 15 Focus Constructions

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Contrastive Focus on the Subject
  • 3 Non-contrastive Focus on the Subject
  • 4 Focus on the Topic
  • 5 The Intensifier and Focus
  • 6 Focus on the Object and Definiteness
  • 7 Focus on an Indirect Object
  • 8 The Nominal Dative in Focus
  • 9 The Pronominal Dative in Contrastive Focus
  • 10 The Focus on Adjuncts
  • 11 The Focus on an Associative Phrase
  • 12 The Focus on a Propositional Anaphor
  • 13 The Focus on a Nominal Predicate
  • 14 The Focus on the Predicate
  • 15 Conclusions
  • 16 Topicalization

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Topicalization of a Subject
  • 3 Topicalization of a Pronominal Object
  • 4 Topicalization of an Object
  • 5 Conclusions
  • 17 Backgrounding

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Formal Properties of Backgrounding
  • 3 Specific Functions of Backgrounded Material
    • 3.1 Adverbial Phrase of Time and Place
    • 3.2 Backgrounded Information Introducing an Argument
    • 3.3 Backgrounding for Counterexpectation
    • 3.4 Backgrounding for Cause-and-effect Relationship
    • 3.5 Setting the Circumstances for the Main Clause
  • 4 Conclusions
  • 18 Pararactic and Conjoined Clauses

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Paratactic Constructions
  • 3 Coding Temporal and Causal Sequence
  • 4 Adverb lay ‘also’ and Clausal Conjunctions
  • 5 Coding the Unexpected Cause-and-effect
  • 6 Same Subjects in Comment Clauses
  • 7 Coding a Counterexpectation
  • 8 Coding the Speaker's Contradiction
  • 9 Conclusions
  • 19 Complementation

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Complements of Verb Sayings
  • 3 The de Dicto Complementizer
  • 4 Omission of the Verb of Saying and the Role of the Complementizer
  • 5 Coreference and Disjoint Reference in Complementation
    • 5.1 Coding Coreference
    • 5.2 Coding Disjoint Reference
  • 6 Dubitative Modality in Complementation
  • 7 Dubitative Modality from the Point of View
  • 8 Coding the Deontic Modality of the Embedded Clause
  • 9 Direct Speech
  • 10 Embedded Interrogatives
  • 11 Specific Questions
    • 11.1 Common Features of Embedded Specific Questions
    • 11.2 Questions about the Locative
  • 12 Causative and Pseudo-causative Constructions
  • 13 Complements of Verb è ‘go’
  • 14 Conclusions
  • 20 Complementation through the Referential Marker

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Complements after Verbs of Knowing
  • 3 Complements after Verbs of Perception (see, hear)
    • 3.1 Coding Direct Evidence
    • 3.2 Hypothetical Modality with Verbs of Perception
  • 4 Complements of Volitional Verbs
    • 4.1 Volitional Verbs and their Complementizers
    • 4.2 Same-subject Complements of Volitional Verbs
    • 4.3 Realistic Wishes: the Complementizer go
    • 4.4 Hypothetical Wishes with Respect to Same Subject
    • 4.5 Different-subject Complements of the Volitional Verbs
  • 5 Complement of the Verb ɓàl ‘be able to’
  • 6 Conclusions
  • 21 Complementation through Nominalization

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Nominalized Forms of the Verb and Possessive Constructions
  • 3 Nominalization of Transitive Verbs
  • 4 Nominalization of Intransitive Verbs
  • 5 Conclusions
  • 22 Adjunct Clauses

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Purpose
  • 3 The Realis Modality of the Reason Clause
  • 4 The Hypothetical Modality of the Purpose Clause
  • 5 Unrealized Purpose
  • 6 Reason Clauses
  • 7 Temporal Apodosis Clause
  • 8 Conclusion
  • 23 Temporal Sentences

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Temporal Protasis
  • 3 Modality Coding in Temporal Protasis
  • 4 Temporal Adophosis Clause
  • 5 Conclusions
  • 24 Conditional Sentences

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Conditional Protasis
  • 3 The Counterfactual Condition
  • 4 The Conditional Apodosis
  • 5 Conclusions
  • 25 Comparative Constructions

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Non-predicative Comparisons
  • 3 Equal Predicates
  • 4 Unequal Comparison
  • 5 Conclusions
  • 26 Relative Clauses

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Forms and Functions of Referential Markers
  • 3 The Relativized Subject
  • 4 The Relativized Object
  • 5 The Relativized Indirect Object
  • 6 The Relativized Locative
  • 7 Relativized Time Adverbials
  • 8 Relativized Associative Arguments
  • 9 The Relativized Reason
  • 10 Conclusions
  • 27 Elements of Discourse Structure in Lele

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Coding of a New Event
  • 3 Coding the (il)logical Consequences of Events
  • 28 A Sample of Lele Texts

  • A Story of three Wives
  • Spider and Squirrel
  • The Woman and the Goat
  • Hyena and Goat
  • Story of Theft
  • Story of a Hunt
  • The Woman who Betrayed her Husband
  • References

5/1/2001

ISBN (Paperback): 1575862573 (9781575862576)

Subject: Lele grammar (Chad); Grammar

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