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Journal of African Languages and Linguistics

Ed. by Ameka, Felix K. / Amha, Azeb

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Volume 37, Issue 2


The morphology of Shilluk transitive verbs

Bert Remijsen / Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé / Leoma G. Gilley
Published Online: 2016-12-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jall-2016-0010


This paper offers a descriptive analysis of the morphology of transitive verbs in Shilluk. Shilluk is a language in which stem-internal changes, many of them suprasegmental in nature, play an important role in the morphology, alongside affixal markers. In particular, tone, vowel length, Advanced Tongue Root (ATR), vowel height, and the stem-final consonant are involved in the morphological marking of a range inflections, expressing tense-aspect-modality, valency changes, agreement, and focus. The paper lays out the inflectional marking of these operations, for each of seven classes that can be distinguished among transitive verbs. In this way, the study extends our understanding of stem-internal morphology and its development in West Nilotic languages.

Keywords: inflection; morphological tone; stem alternation; syntactic valency; Nilotic

Article Note

The online version of this article includes embedded sound examples. Please find it at the journal’s website: www.degruyter.com/jall


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About the article

Published Online: 2016-12-02

Published in Print: 2016-11-01

Citation Information: Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, Volume 37, Issue 2, Pages 201–245, ISSN (Online) 1613-3811, ISSN (Print) 0167-6164, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jall-2016-0010.

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