Future Time Reference in C'Lela, a Kainji Language of Nigeria

Date:
2012
Conference:
WOCAL7, Buea, Cameroon, University of Buea, Cameroon; WOCAL Standing Committee, 20-24 August
Sponsored By:
SIL Nigeria Group, Kay Williamson Educational Foundation
Extent:
46 pages
Abstract:
Bantu languages generally use verbal inflection to convey information related to time reference. However, many West African Niger-Congo languages closely related to Bantu use other means to convey this kind of information. This study considers C’Lela, a language in the Kainji sub-group of Benue-Congo, in relation to how it conveys future time reference. The study is launched from observations made during earlier research into C’Lela grammar which suggested that C'Lela is an aspect-prominent language without a grammaticalized opposition between past and present. It proceeds to ask whether this language has any grammaticalized future/non-future opposition. The most common strategy for future time reference is introduced, then other grammatical structures which convey future time reference in C’Lela are also examined and compared to this most frequent type. A link is then established between this strategy of future time reference and the marking of habitual aspect. The hypothesis proposed is that elements of the discourse or cultural context are frequently the means for differentiating statements of past or present habitual action from those of future predictable action. This hypothesis is applied to two C’Lela texts to demonstrate the usefulness of investigating verbal morphology in discourse context.
Publication Status:
Draft (posted 'as is' without peer review)
Table of Contents:
Abstract -- 1.Introduction -- 1.1.C'Lela and the Kainji Group -- 1.2.Aspect-Prominence in C'Lela -- 1.3.Future as a Tense – What is the Needed Evidence For or Against? -- 2.Reference to Future in C'Lela Main Clauses -- 2.1.Common Future Time Reference Strategy -- 2.2.Affirmative versus Negative Mode for Future -- 2.3.Immediate Future -- 2.4.Use of Perfective in Future Time Reference (Main Clauses) -- 3.Reference to Future Time in Subordinate Clauses -- 3.1.Purpose Clauses -- 3.2.Relative Clauses -- 4.Relationship of Future to Habitual Aspect -- 4.1.Morphological Marking of Habitual and Future -- 4.2.Habitual and Future as subtypes of an Imperfective Aspect -- 4.3.Testing a Hypothesis in two C'Lela Texts -- 5.Conclusions -- Bibliography
Country:
Nigeria
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Tense
perfective
non-Bantu
Kainji
incompletive
imperfective
future time reference
Benue-Congo
Aspect
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
51340