Quinnipiac College, Hamden
The Tol language (also known as Jicaque), long considered a member of the far-flung Hokan phylum, is spoken by 250-300 speakers in north central Honduras.
Tol is quite complex in terms of both phonology and inflectional morphology. However, there is very little in the way of productive derivational morphology. There are 22 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes in Tol, as well as one suprasegmental phoneme of stress. There is a three-way contrast among stop consonants (plain, aspirated, and glottalized), which is partially neutralized in syllable-final position. There is also a pervasive system of vowel-harmony governed by vowel height. Morphological processes include vocalic ablaut and apocope, prefixation, infixation, and suffixation, as well as shift of stress, and these are associated with an extensive set of morphophonemic variations, especially within the verbs. In addition to the lexical stem, verb-forms in Tol are marked only for subject and tense. Tol tense- and aspect-systems seem to be quite rudimentary: only present, past, and future have been recognized by most researchers. Basic sentence word-order is Subject-Object-Verb, but when a pronominal subject is involved the usual order is Object-Verb-Subject. Many nouns have variant forms as subject and as object. There is a separate category of adjectives, which follow their associated nouns. There is also a large set of postnominal particles which specify case-relationships and express locational notions.
ISBN 9783895862779. Languages of the World/Materials 170. 60pp. 1999.