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The morphology and phonology of the nominal domain in Tagbana

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Yranahan Traoré

The book investigates the morphology and phonology of the nominal domain in Tagbana of the Senufo group of Côte d’Ivoire. The nominal domain is the locus of a phenomenon called ‘alliterative concord’, a special kind of concord expressed by consonantal alliteration. All dependent morphemes of a head noun share articulatory features, which are realized on the onset of the first syllable of each morpheme. In this way, the articulatory features signal the class of the dependent morphemes. This volume also discusses the segment inventory and the syllable structure and describes the complex noun operations in the nominal domain. Distributed Morphology and Optimal Theory form the theoretical background of the empirical facts.

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6 Nominal derivation in Fròʔò

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The chapter discusses the derivational processes in the nominal domain of Fròʔò. These all have the same form: suffixation of a CM to a lexical root that is preferably nominal, verbal, or adjectival. The process of adding a CM to any root inevitably results in a ‘simplex noun’; see Chapter 4. For reasons of time and space, no analysis of the semantic or pragmatic aspects of derivation is considered here.

Different word formation processes—inflection, derivation, and compounding—have been widely explored by linguists in many languages; see for instance Williams (1981), Aronoff (1976), Marantz (1997), Spencer (1991), and see Haspelmath and Sims (2010) for an overview. However, no study of morphology exists for Tagbana. Tagbana presents no inflectional effects in its nominal domain, but it has derivation and compounding; see also Carlson (1994) for similar conclusions in Supyire, a Senufo language. This chapter is limited to the morphological process of derivation, and compounding is investigated in Chapter 7.

Most languages distinguish between inflectional and derivational morphology, and the distinction between the two is briefly introduced in Section 6.1. Inflection deals with the word forms of a lexeme in the same grammatical category and is often described in terms of values grouped into features. Derivation, by contrast, denotes the process of affixation of a morpheme to another lexeme with co-occurrent change of its grammatical category. Derivation is usually described in terms of individual morphological patterns and their meanings.

Two kinds of morphological...

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