A Grammar of Hdi

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Walter de Gruyter, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 550 pages
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Hdi is a hitherto undescribed language spoken in northern Cameroon. The language belongs to the Central Branch of Chadic. The aim of the book is to provide a fairly complete description of the grammar of this language. Consequently, the grammar describes the phonology, morphology and syntax of Hdi and the semantic and discourse functions coded in this language. Most clauses in Hdi are verb-initial, with the subject directly following the verb. The object is often marked by a preposition. What makes Hdi unusual is that the object-marking preposition is unique and does not function elsewhere as a locative preposition. Another interesting feature of Hdi is that there are two types of clauses, pragmatically independent and pragmatically dependent, and that the difference between these is coded by different tense and aspectual systems. In addition, there are two clausal orders for complex sentences: The order embedded clause-matrix clause codes one type of modality, while the order matrix clause-embedded clause codes another. The language also has a rich system of verbal extensions coding the semantic roles of arguments and adjuncts and the direction of movement.

The grammar is of interest not only to linguists working in African, Chadic and Afroasiatic linguistics, but also to general linguists, since it describes phenomena rarely seen in other languages of the world. The grammar is described in terms accessible to linguists working within various theoretical frameworks.

 

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Contents

Typological characteristics of Hdi
4
Phonotactics of consonants
20
Vowel system
26
Tone
39
The structure of the noun phrase
45
The order modifier head
53
The collective
59
Coding the notion of belonging
67
Normative modality
286
Emotive modality or warning
292
The perfective aspect in pragmatically dependent clauses
300
The dependent imperfective aspect
311
The progressive aspect
317
Conclusions
325
Referentiality and the perfective
328
Conclusions
334

The comparative form of the modifying construction
73
Modification through numerals
76
Deixis and anaphora
83
Specific and nonspecific child
94
The underlying tone of the verb
101
Suppletive plural
107
The structure of polysyllabic verbs
115
Verbal nouns
116
Coding of the object
130
Inherent properties of verbs and object coding
147
Coding the addressee of verbs of saying
153
Cognate objects
161
Conclusions
167
Introduction
169
Point of view of goal
176
Dative and benefactive argument coding
183
Coreferentiality of arguments
195
The inverse extension s
204
The system of partitive extensions
210
Conclusions
215
Associative extension nda
221
Downward movement extension xa 252
223
The locative adjunct
227
Adverbs of time
235
The system of locative extensions
241
Inner space orientation extension g
253
Upward movement extension fa
261
The extension ra
268
Imperative modality
274
Conclusions
341
Property concept predicates
347
Clauseinitial deictic particles
353
Negation
379
Negation of possessive clauses
386
Topicalization of the subject in equational clauses
393
Topicalization of the adjunct
396
Focus on the subject in verbless clauses
402
Focus on and relativization of the object
408
The topicalized adverb and focused object
414
Negation focus and relativization
424
Disjoined clauses
431
Negative sequential clauses
437
Discourse conjunctions
438
The coding of the addressee
444
The imperative mood in complements of verbs of saying
451
Interrogative complements
459
Nonpropositional addressees
467
Coding indirect perception
473
Different subjects
479
Purpose clauses
491
The negative conditional mood
498
Texts
505
ghuza duxwal Beer of Adulthood
512
Work for Squirrels Inlaws
516
Conversation between two speakers
531
Index
547
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Zygmunt Frajzyngier is Professor at the University of Colorado, USA.

Erin Shay is research associate at the University of Colorado, USA.

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