A Grammar of Jamsay
Jamsay is the largest-population language among some twenty Dogon languages in Mali, West Africa. This is the first comprehensive grammar of any Dogon language, including a full tonology. The language is verb-final, with subject agreement on the verb and with no other case-marking. Its most striking feature is the morphosyntactically triggered use of stem-wide tone-contour overlays on nouns, verbs, and adjectives. All stems have a lexical tone contour such as H[igh], L[ow]-H, HL, or LHL with at least one H-tone. An exam of tone overlay is tone-dropping to stem-wide all-L. This is used for Perfective verbs (in the presence of a focalized constituent), and for a noun or adjective before an adjective. It is also used to mark the head NP in a relative clause (the head NP is not extracted, so this is the only direct indication of head NP status). The verb in a relative clause is morphologically a participle, agreeing with the head NP in humanness and number, rather than with the subject. "Intonation" is used grammatically. For example, NP conjunction 'X and Y' is expressed as X Y, without a conjunction, but with "dying-quail" intonation on both conjuncts.
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2SgP 3SgO 3SgP adjective adverbial all-H allomorph apocope bahuvrihi be.Nonh-Neg bere bisyllabic chained clitic cognate nominal combination common complement compound initial consonant construction Contour-Tone di:n Dogon Dogon languages Douentza expressed fene final focalized focus Fulfulde function ga:ra gloss He/She head NP Imperfective inalienable possessor ine-m iteration Jamsay ji:n ka:n karna ku:n L-toned lexical tones Logophoric LogoS lSgP main clause meyn meynft millet monosyllabic mora morpheme nasal Nonh NonhO NonhP Nonhuman nonpronominal numeral object occur Participial suffix participle particle pattern Perfective Negative person.L phonological plural Poss possessed postposition preceding predicative pronominal pronominal-subject suffix pronoun quasi-verb reduplicated Refl relative clause rhotic segment semivowel sense sequence subject pronominal suffix syllable Syncope textual examples thing.L tonal locative tone contour tone overlay tone-dropping topic trimoraic trisyllabic unsuffixed Perfective variant VblN verb stem Verbal Noun village you-Pl you-Sg