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A Grammar of Goemai by Birgit Hellwig

By Birgit Hellwig

This is the 1st description of Goemai, a West Chadic language of Nigeria. Goemai is spoken in a language touch zone, and this touch has formed Goemai grammar to the level that it may be thought of a reasonably untypical Chadic language. The grammar offers the constitution of the present-day language, relates it to its diachronic resources, and provides a semantic viewpoint to the description.

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The modifying construction is another construction that has spread throughout Goemai grammar. This construction originally served to create stative predicates, in particular, to create stative property (or adjectival) expressions. In later developments, these stative expressions were first integrated as nominal modifiers into the noun phrase, and then the construction was extended to derive modifiers from all kinds of other expressions. As modifiers, they serve to restrict the reference of semantically-general nouns.

Hausaftha6a:J 'have ever/never done' is often realized as ftha6at. This synchronic observation suggests that a similar development could account for the existence of [a] in Dorok. Table 15. Comparing K'wo, Duut and Dorok: */a/, */a:/ K'wo Duut (Ohikere and Tiemsan 1999) Dorok (Kraft 1981) *Ia/ ear woman beard kwam mat phap fwam mat pap fwam mat pap */a:/ duiker pha:p pa:p pap Summarizing the discussion so far, Goemai has four short (/i/, lui, Ia/ and /a/) and seven long vowel phonemes (/i:/, /'d:/, /u:/, /e:/, /o:/, /o:/ and /a:/).

Newman 1975; Schuh 1984; E. Wolff 1983) and (ii) the development of mid vowels from diphthongs (P Newman 1979, 1990b). 17 Within the Angas-Goemai group, the vowels show considerable variation across the different languages (Hoffmann 1975; Takacs 2004). , Frajzyngier 1993: 9-15 who discusses the status of schwa in Mupun; see also Burquest 1971: 39-40 for Angas). 17. But see also Jungraithmayr (1966, 1968a, 1968b, 1968c, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1989, 1992) who argues that Proto-Chadic had a number of stable vowels, which carried aspectual distinctions (similar to the consonantal roots and vowel patterns found in other Afroasiatic languages).

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