A Nilo-Saharan Language of the Central African Republic
La Trobe University
Kabba belongs to the Western-Sara group of the Central-Sudanic branch of the Nilo-Saharan languages (80,000 speakers in the North of C.A.R., 20,000 in Chad and Cameroon).
The grammar consists of ten chapters and is followed by a complete and interlinearised traditional folkstory told by Daniel Tambe. Many examples throughout this thesis come from this story, which displays many features discussed. Other examples come from a variety of sources in the author's extensive data collection. They are referred to by the codes in brackets.
The introductory first chapter looks at the historical and ethnic background of the speakers of the Kabba language, discusses its linguistic classification and provides an overview of its typological features. Chapter two deals with the sound system, which includes implosives, affricates, homorganic prenasalised obstruents, syllabic nasal consonants, nasalised vowels and vowel harmony. Syllabic structures and phonotactics are also discussed in this chapter. Tonal patterns are investigated, exemplified and discussed in chapter three. Kabba has three level tones and four contour tones. Bound morphemes and morphological processes are explored in chapter four. A detailed analysis and discussion of subject, object and possessive pronouns is included. Alienable possession plays an important part. Chapter five deals with the nominal morphology found of the Kabba language. It includes a discussion of noun phrases, noun collocations, adjectival structures, numerical expressions, reciprocity, logophoric pronouns, reflexives, relative pronouns, conjunctions, case markers and adpositions. Chapter six contains an exemplified discussion of semantic and grammatical verb categories, transitivity, tense-aspect-mood and adverbial expressions. Basic clause structures are illustrated and discussed in chapter seven, which includes declarative, interrogative, negative, imperative and exclamatory clauses. Copula clauses and verbless clauses are also discussed. Chapter eight deals with complex predicate structures, such as serialisation, consecutivisation and grammaticalisation. Chapter nine investigates and discusses complex clause structures, such as coordination, subordination, complementation and relativisation. Discourse features are analysed, exemplified and discussed in the last chapter. They include grounding, participant reference, marked focus, direct and indirect quotations and pragmatic particles. A conclusion at the end of each major section summarises the findings.
ISBN 9783895868283. LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 63. 504 pp. 2004.