Joseph Lovestrand has sent the following invitation to another Skype Talk:
The Chadic Languages & Cultures group, run by Cameroonian linguists, is meeting online Saturday 20 November, 9 AM, Cameroon time (UTC+1). All are welcome to join the discussion (in French and English)!
Pattern borrowing and hybridisation in Mubi Lameen Souag (CNRS)
The plural system of Mubi (East Chadic, Afroasiatic) stands out cross-linguistically within Chadic and worldwide for its extensive use of pattern morphology, fixing the output’s vowel qualities and shape while preserving the input’s consonants. This paper demonstrates that some elements of this system are reconstructible at least for East Chadic B and probably go back to earlier stages of Afroasiatic, while others reflect the influence of Chadian Arabic, the regional lingua franca. The process of influence, however, turns out to involve not just straightforward pattern morpheme borrowing (exemplified here by the iambic pattern BaCaaDiFe), but also the reshaping of inherited patterns. The most frequent quadriliteral plural pattern, BuCooDuF, reflects Arabic influence in its shape – mediated by a change in mapping directionality – but Chadic inheritance in its distribution. This result supports the hypothesis that pattern morphology is more easily transferred between related languages.
Sentence-final particles in Barayin Joseph Lovestrand SOAS University of London
This presentation is a first exploration of the distribution and functions of seven sentence-final particles in Barayin based on the analysis of a 25,000-word corpus, primarily of transcribed monologues (Lovestrand 2017). The first two types of particles are widespread in Chadic languages: the negation marker /do/ and the interrogative marker /saŋ/. These markers only occur in a sentence-final position and appear to be monofunctional. These markers are closely related to the next two. The conjunction /sane/ ‘or’ can act as a conjunction presenting alternatives, but in a sentence-final position it is an interrogative marker with essentially the same function as /saŋ/. The sentence-final particle /kudi/ always follows the negation marker /do/. Its precise function is not clear, but it is assumed to intensify the negator in a similar sense to the expression “not at all” in English or “pas du tout” in French. The particle /atti/ seems to have a general affirmative function. It is used on its own to express agreement in dialogues. As a sentence-final particle in monologues, its function is less clear, but it could be interpreted as an intensifier analogous to “really” in English.
The other two sentence-final particles in the corpus are words from Chadian Arabic. The word /kalas/ or /halas/ is from Chadian Arabic ‘finished’. It is the 11th most frequent word in the corpus. In addition to occurring at the end of sentences, it is sometimes found transcribed in a sentence-initial position or on its own, suggesting it can appear as an interjection without being part of an adjacent clause. There are cases where /kalas/ or /halas/ is followed by the background marker /ná/ (Lovestrand 2018) thus verifying its integration in the syntax. The other Arabic-origin sentence-final particle is /bas/ ‘only’. This word is sometimes used to simply mean ‘only’, and in this function it can also occur in a non-final position. As a sentence-final particle, /bas/ can take on pragmatic functions of emphasis and downplaying in a manner analogous to some uses of “just” in English. Note that /bas/ in Chadian Arabic is not a sentence-final particle.
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Online repositories like Zenodo and Academia will probably become more popular. Please let the rest of us know whenever you publish something related to Chadic on these platforms so we can keep track of what is going on in Chadic Studies.
Again, we would like to remind and encourage other linguists working on Chadic languages to also send such information. Please help us keep up to date with what is going on in Chadic Linguistics by sending us information about your research, new publications, conferences etc. (Contact)
I would like to remind and encourage other linguists working on Chadic languages to also send such information. Please help us keep up to date with what is going on in Chadic Linguistics by sending us information about your research, new publications, conferences etc. (Contact)
A new volume (in French) on Mubi has been published at Reimer Verlag:
Herrmann Jungraithmayr. La langue mubi (République du Tchad). Précis de Grammaire – Textes – Lexique (Sprache und Oralität in Afrika, Volume 27). 226 p. + 1 Ill.; 17 × 24 cm, ISBN 978-3-496-02852-9, Price: 69,00 € [D] | 88,80 SFR [CH]
The book comprises a sketch of the grammar (80 pages), a text collection (50 pages) and a lexicon (60 pages).
“Le mubi (moubi) ou Monjul est une langue tchadique parlée par environ 35000 locuteurs dans l’est de la République Tchad. Il s’agit d’un membre particulièrement innovateur de la famille tchadique et qui représente la branche tchadique la plus éloignée du sud-ouest du phylum hamito-sémitique. Parmi ses traits caractéristiques, il y a l’apophonie allant dans le lexique et la morphologie, surtout dans la formation du système aspectuel binaire. En ce qui concerne le lexique, l’influence de l’arabe est forte. Ceci n’est pas surprenant dans le sens où l’islam et les dialectes arabes jouent un grand rôle dans la société mubi. Cependant, cette expansion de l’arabe pourrait mettre en danger les langues locales.”