978-90-5789-056-7 / 9789057890567

The Maale language (CNWS publications)


Publisher:Research School of Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies, Universiteit Leiden



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About the book:

This book is a pioneering study of Maale, a so far undescribed Omotic language spoken in southern Ethiopia. The study presents an analysis of the phonology, morphology and syntax of the language. Focus, ideophones, interjections and greeting and leave-taking expressions are also examined.

The author describes a number of interesting morpho-syntactic phenomena including the expression of modality, clause-chaining and switch-reference. One of the theoretical problems raised concerns the marking of case on dependent verbs in Maale, which is at variance with the accepted way of categorising inflectional affixes into verbal and nominal classes. New empirical material is also provided in the area of sentence-type marking. Maale uses morphological means to distinguish the declarative, which is generally regarded as an unmarked sentence type. The declarative in this language further distinguishes simple assertions from assertions involving the speakers' state of knowledge (the mirative), his/her commitment to the utterance (the veridical), his/her evaluation of the state of knowledge of the hearer (the informative), and the potential. In addition to this, assertions about states, e.g. quality or identity of a referent, are distinct from assertions about events.

The analytical and theoretical problems addressed in different sections of the book make it interesting to specialists in Omotic studies as well as to those concerned with linguistics in general.

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