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

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 comprise: 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

Another intensifier, tey! [tej], associated with the verb hottu 'be hot (spicy)', shows that the ey diphthong is also possible in interjections for this speaker. However, other speakers applied the same neutralizations to intensifiers as to other vocabulary, and did not distinguish the intensifier for 'be sweet' from the verb gey 'endure*. The ISg pronoun ay calls for comment. As a subject pronoun, before a postposition, as a possessive, in preposed or fronted position, or in isolation, I generally hear [aj].

We get nasalized [äy] in two cases of historically late nasalization of *a. Not only do we get häysi 'dog' (<*haynsi <*hansi), where the initial h would favor a low nucleus anyway, but we also have gäysi (<*gaynsi <*gansi) 'fonio (a grain)'; cf. 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'.

They occur stem-finally and occasionally stem-medially. " There are only slight differences between {aay aaw} and {aan aar} in distribution, and in all cases the nuclear aa has its normal articulation. There are several examples of aay. gaay 'restrain', gaayka 'fish eagle', taayla 'bald spot', taaytaay Ostrich', waay 'become aware of. The only possible examples of aaw are a handful of Arabic loans where a wordfinal *b after a long *aa has shifted to w, as in citaab ~ kitaaw (~ kitaw) '(Koranic) tome' (

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