Selected Topics in the Grammar and Lexicon of Sɛlɛɛ
The goal of this project is to investigate and describe some selected aspects of the grammar and lexicon of Sɛlɛɛ, a Ghana-Togo-Mountain (GTM) language. Specifically, the study will examine: the Noun Class system, Adjectives, Diminution, Negation, The Tense and Aspect system, The lexical field of temperature and, if time permits, Tonology. I have made a total of 6 months of field work collecting natural data of different genres: narratives, storytelling, topic base discussions and elicitation of word list. The data was audio recorded and transcribed with the help of my language consultants. Preliminary investigation has shown that Sɛlɛɛ has a noun class system which differs from Bantu in the sense that the subject NP does not mark agreement with the verb, neither are there arguments in the object position cross referenced on the verb. Research conducted in the language so far (Harflett & Tate 1999, Agbetsoamedo 2009) has shown that Sɛlɛɛ marks four absolute tenses: The recent past (RP), the distant past (DP), the simple present (SP) and the future (FUT). One striking feature about the encoding of tense in Sɛlɛɛ is the lack of the RP tense morpheme occurring with the first person plural.
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