A Grammar of Tadaksahak: A Berberised Songhay Language by Regula Christiansen-Bolli

By Regula Christiansen-Bolli

The current learn offers a close description of Tadaksahak, a Northern Songhay department of the Nilo-Saharan language staff. it truly is spoken by means of nearly 30,000 humans, consisting commonly of the ethnic crew of the Idaksahak who're dwelling within the East of Mali in addition to in remoted locations in western Niger. The booklet is split into 4 chapters giving an entire assessment: the 1st brief bankruptcy offers information regarding the historical past of the Idaksahak. within the moment bankruptcy, the phonological gains of the language are defined, whereas the 3rd bankruptcy is devoted to the outline of the morphology of Tadaksahak. it really is proven that verbal derivation pulls on unrelated Tamasheq for causative, reciprocal and center in addition to passive. furthermore, any verb root that's of Songhay foundation is suppleted while derived and a semantic similar of Tamasheq starting place takes its position. one other non-Songhay characteristic matters inflection the place the topic pronoun cliticizes to the verb and is often current even if a noun word holds the topic slot. The nominalization process used is dependent upon the etymology of the time period, a characteristic paralleled within the formation of adjectives. The final bankruptcy is devoted to the syntax of the language and provides sorts of noun words. moreover, the differing kinds of straightforward clauses are taken care of in addition to focalization and topicalization in such clauses. query phrases and supplement clauses together with the 2 attainable relativization recommendations also are thought of, whereas the final part approximately complicated sentences offers subordinate clauses. within the appendices texts with glosses, lists of verb roots with their suppletions whilst derived, a wordlist Tadaksahak-English containing Songhay cognates and an index English-Tadaksahak are given.

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Consider the following: (20) Realization of /a/ following palatal Cs singular [ˈjɛw] [ˈtʃɛw] [ˈdʒɛw] plural [jaːˈwɛn] yáw [tʃaːˈwɛn] cáw [dʒaːˈwɛn] jáw gloss ‘female camel’ ‘call’ ‘help’ Compare, with undelying /e/: héw ‘wind’: singular [ˈhɛw], plural [hɛːˈwan]. e. /Cay/ [Cɛy]. The following examples show that this rule pertains both to words with a Songhay and to words with a Tamasheq background. (21) Realization of /a/ preceding /y/ (Songhay cognates) singular plural [ˈzɛj] [zaːˈjɛn] [ˈjɛj] [jaːˈjɛn] záy yáy gloss ‘theft’ ‘freshness’ Etymologically Tamasheq nouns also follow the rule that /a/ is pronounced [ɛ] when followed by /y/.

G. Fr. porte-monnaie ‘purse’ becomes fartǝmáani, and Fr. projet ‘project’ is pronounced faróʒe. 2 Plosives The only plosives that have restrictions in distribution are the affricates c [ʧ] and j [ʤ]. We have no evidence of them in word-final or syllable-final position, except when they are part of a geminated consonant, as for example in hijjí ‘piston’. The following examples illustrate alternations in which /c/ in syllable initial position before a front vowel alternates with /k/ before a back vowel or in syllable final position.

35) Initial consonant of verb lengthened [aɣa'dːǝbǝta] [nɪ'dːǝbǝta] [a'dːǝbǝta] [aɣa'jːɪbǝta] [nɪ'jːɪbǝta] [a'jːɪbǝta] aɣa₌ddǝbǝt₌a ni₌ddǝbǝt₌a a₌ddǝbǝt₌a aɣa₌yyíbǝt₌a ni₌yyíbǝt₌a a₌yyíbǝt₌a ‘I can do it’ ‘you can do it’ ‘s/he can do it’ ‘I snatched it’ ‘you snatched it’ ‘s/he snatched it’ With monosyllabic stems that carry the stress on the only syllable of the verb, this lengthening appears very strongly. With very long verbal stems, and disyllabic stems with the stress on the second syllable, it appears to be less strong.

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