LINGUIST List 13.1663

Wed Jun 12 2002

Books: Lang Description: A Reference Grammar of Mbay

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  1. LINCOM EUROPA, A Reference Grammar of Mbay by John Keegan

Message 1: A Reference Grammar of Mbay by John Keegan

Date: 11 Jun 2002 18:46 GMT
Subject: A Reference Grammar of Mbay by John Keegan

A Reference Grammar of Mbay 

John Keegan

A Reference Grammar of Mbay provides a solid introduction to the
grammars of Mbay, a Central-Sudanic language of the Sara family
described in a Dictionary of Mbay by the same author. It is based on
extensive field research among the Mbay in Chad during the period data
for the dictionary was collected. The grammar is divided into eight

The first five describe the phonology and morphology. First, segmental
phonology is described, and a thorough explanation and justification
of the writing system is provided, followed by a description of tone
and vowel length. The second section treats morpheme structure, with
emphasis on the canonical and harmonic constraints which limit the
shape of Mbay morphemes. The inflectional paradigms are described in
the third section, and this is followed in the fourth by an
explanation of the phonological change associated with inflection,
with emphasis on a description of the different types of tonal
change. Section five treats the limited word formation processes found
in the language.

Section six through eight treat Mbay syntax. Section six describes
the structure and uses of the different categories and subcategories,
and includes descriptions of alienable/inalienable nouns, verb aspect,
serial verbs, adjectival uses of verbs and nouns, and the various uses
of ideophones, specifiers and complementizers.

Section seven deals with word order, describing sentence order as well
as the structure of the noun, verb and prepositional phrase. Included
in this section are a number of special structures and expressions. In
general, the description contained in these sections attempts to be
broad in scope, and includes explanatations of how to express common
concepts (e.g. existence, impersonal expression, comparison,
superlative, etx.) as well as interesting aspects of Mbay syntax which
transcend individual categories (eg. the notion of 'standing/sitting/lying').

Section eight deals with the rules governing the mandatory subject and
object reference affices. The grammatical descriptions are accompanied
by abundant examples, and in many cases word for word translation are
given in addition to a more conventional translation.

ISBN 3 89586 173 1.
LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 14.
240pp. Photographs. USD 69.50 / EUR 66 / � 48.80. 2nd printing

Free copies of LINCOM's catalogue 2002 ("project line 12") are now 
available from

LINCOM electronic n.e.w.s.l.e.t.t.e.r. :New books in June 2002.

LINCOM EUROPA, Freibadstr. 3, D-81543 Muenchen, Germany
FAX +49 89 62269404
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Thursday, January 17, 2002