C'Lela Grammar Portrait C'Lela Grammar Portrait, Page 3 from west to east across the plain. Generally

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  • C'Lela Grammar Portrait

    © SIL Nigeria, Jos

    Stephen Dettweiler

    2015-09-17

    2015 FINAL VERSION

    steve_dettweiler@sil.org 0903-309-1704 (Nigeria)

    mailto:steve_dettweiler@sil.org

  • Contents

    1. Introduction................................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 The Lelna People and their Language ................................................................................... 2 1.2 Language Classification ......................................................................................................... 7 1.3 Previous and Current Linguistic Work................................................................................ 10 1.4 Fieldwork and Data.............................................................................................................. 11

    2. Phonology ................................................................................................................................... 13 2.1 Consonant Phonemes of C'Lela ........................................................................................... 13 2.2 Vowel Phonemes of C'Lela ................................................................................................. 15 2.3 Syllable and Word Patterns ................................................................................................. 17 2.4 Interpretation of Ambiguous Segments and Sequences ...................................................... 22 2.5 Distribution of Phonemes .................................................................................................... 26 2.5.1 Distribution of Consonants ............................................................................................... 26 2.5.2 Distribution of Vowels ..................................................................................................... 27 2.6 Vowel Length....................................................................................................................... 29 2.7 Morphophonological Processes ........................................................................................... 30 2.7.1 Distribution of Nasalized Vowels .................................................................................... 30 2.7.2 Homorganic Nasal Assimilation across Word Boundaries .............................................. 31 2.7.3 Word-Final Vowel Elision ................................................................................................ 31 2.7.4 Epenthesis of the Near-Close Central Vowel ................................................................... 32 2.7.5 Anticipatory Assimilation of Obstruents across Morpheme Boundaries ........................ 34 2.8 Lexical Tone ........................................................................................................................ 34 2.9 Grammatical Tone in Verbal Morphology .......................................................................... 36 2.10 Summary ............................................................................................................................ 40

    3. Lexical Categories ...................................................................................................................... 42 3.1 Nouns ................................................................................................................................... 42 3.2 Verbs .................................................................................................................................... 45 3.3 Modifiers .............................................................................................................................. 46 3.3.1 Adjectival Words .............................................................................................................. 46 3.3.2 Numerals ........................................................................................................................... 49 3.3.3 Adverbs ............................................................................................................................. 52 3.4 Grammatical Particles .......................................................................................................... 53 3.4.1 Prepositions ....................................................................................................................... 53 3.4.2 Connectives ....................................................................................................................... 54

    4. Noun Morphology ...................................................................................................................... 56 4.1 Class System and Concord .................................................................................................. 56 4.2 Pairing of Classes as Genders ............................................................................................. 63

  • 4.3 Noun Pluralization ............................................................................................................... 65 4.4 Inalienable Possession ......................................................................................................... 68

    5. Verbal Morphology - Inflection ................................................................................................. 72 5.1 The Simplest Form of the Verb ........................................................................................... 72 5.2 Perfective Aspects ................................................................................................................ 73 5.2.1 Main Perfective ................................................................................................................. 75 5.2.2 Highlighting Perfective ..................................................................................................... 76 5.2.3 Relative Perfectives .......................................................................................................... 78 5.3 Imperfective Aspects ........................................................................................................... 81 5.3.1 Progressive Aspect ............................................................................................................ 82 5.3.2 Incompletive Aspect ......................................................................................................... 85 5.3.3 Inceptive Aspect................................................................................................................ 87 5.4 Combination of Aspects ...................................................................................................... 88 5.5 Other Aspects (Direction and Location of Action) ............................................................. 88

    6. Syntax of Phrases ....................................................................................................................... 90 6.1 Simple Nouns ....................................................................................................................... 90 6.2 Noun Phrases with Agent Nominalizing Clitics ................................................................. 91 6.3 Nouns with Possessive Adjectives ...................................................................................... 92 6.4 Nouns With Deictic Adjective ............................................................................................. 94 6.5 Nouns with Attributive Adjectives ...................................................................................... 97 6.6 Nouns with Nouns (Associative Construction) ................................................................... 99 6.7 Count Nouns with Numbers .............................................................................................. 100 6.8 Prepositional Phrases ......................................................................................................... 102

    7. Syntax of Simple Clauses ......................................................................................................... 105 7.1 Intransitive Clauses ............................................................................................................ 105 7.2 Transitive Clauses .............................................................................................................. 106 7.3 Ditransitive Clauses ........................................................................................................... 107 7.4 Subject-Complement Clauses with Copular Verbs ........................................................... 109 7.5 Equative Clauses with Particle í ........................................................................................ 112 7.6 Negation of Clauses ........................................................................................................... 114 7.7 Clauses in Interrogative Mood .......................................................................................... 118 7.8 Impersonal Passives ........................................................................................................... 120 7.9 Clauses in Subjunctive Mood ............................................................................................ 121

    8. Clause Combinations ................................................................................................................ 124 8.1 Coordinate Clauses ............................................................................................................ 124 8.2 Subordinate Clauses ...................................................................