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V2 and extensions in Ring languages


The noun stems reconstructed for Proto-Benue-Congo (PBC) and Proto-Bantu (PB) typically have the shape CVCV. But, these same CVCV lexemes have been reconstructed for Proto-Grassfields (PGr) with a loss of V2, e.g. 'animal': PBC *nama, PB *nyàmà 9/10, but PGr *nàm`; 'leg, foot': PBC *-kudu, PB gʊdʊ̀ 15/6 but PGr *ɣùl`; 'root': PB *gàngá 3/4, but PGr *gàŋ´. However, a number of disyllabic monomorphemic stems are found in the Grassfields languages. This chapter attempts to identify and account for such disyllabic stems in Ring languages. We show that noun stems in Ring languages such as Babanki did indeed go from disyllabic to monosyllabic, and that contemporary disyllabic or polysyllabic nouns and verbs are usually due to multiple morphemes, either through the addition of affixes or reduplication. Besides synchronically transparent noun class affixes and verbal extensions, the incorporation of fossilized verbal extensions and noun class affixes can account for most of the data.
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hal-04250423 , version 1 (19-10-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04250423 , version 1


Pius W. Akumbu, Jeffrey Wills. V2 and extensions in Ring languages. Rebecca Grollemund, Derek Nurse, John Watters. Bantoid and Bantu in Cameroon: An historical re-assessment, 19, Gruyter Mouton, In press, Studies in Language Change. ⟨hal-04250423⟩
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