The Moloko verb phrase

Statement of Responsibility:
Friesen, Dianne and Megan Mamalis
Series Issue:
2008-003
Date:
2008
Part Of Series:
SIL Electronic Working Papers 2008-003
Extent:
70 pages
Abstract:

The Moloko verb phrase is as complex as its vowel inventory is simple. While the language has only one phonemic vowel (but ten phonetic vowels), a study of the intricacies of its verb phrase morphology reveals an even greater diversity of grammatical functions. This paper looks at some of these complexities of the verb phrase in Moloko (Chadic Biu-Mandara A5), an SVO language. Verbs are built on a consonantal skeleton with a superimposed tonal melody. The system is aspectual and modal, not based on tense. Tone on the subject prefix realises aspect, and vowel quality realises mood. There is a rich verbal morphology, with verbal extensions expressing the perfect aspect, as well as the direction and location of the action. A flexible valence system allows variations in transitivity for a given verb with no morphological marking. Ideophones figure greatly in the expression of the action. Reduplication in the verb stem expresses repetitive and iterative aspects.

Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Cameroon
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Verbs
vowel
verb phrase
locational
directional
body part
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
7873
Files:
AttachmentSize
silewp2008_003.pdf1.08 MB