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Re: Natlang feature question

From:David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Date:Friday, February 25, 2005, 9:44
Henrik wrote:

Recently, when trying to get some info about Mòoré, the main language
of Burkina Faso, I encountered interestingly related words in that

   Town name:     Ouagadougou
   Dialect name:  Ouapadoupou

What's the system behind the relation of these words?

I saw the word "Niger-Congo" in the list you gave, so this language
*may be* in some way related to Moro, which is a language that my
class is trying to write a grammar for right now.  If it is related, I
have an answer for you.

First, the name looks like it was transcribed by French missionaries.
That would be my guess with all the "ou"'s.  I figure if it were
transcribed by linguistics, these would be replaced by "w" or "u".

Second, is it a certainty that these are single words?  I say this,
in Moro there are two affixes:

(1) Instrumental Suffix: -@Ca
(2) Genitive: C(@)-

The C in those affixes represents the noun class consonant.  Every
noun class has a consonant associated with it, and this consonant
gets put into these suffixes.  So, for example:

(a) wa4a = "chicken"
(b) wa4@ga = "by chicken"
(c) g@wa4a = "of the chicken"

(a) trambili = "car"
(b) trambil@Da = "by car"
(c) D@trambil = "of the car"

(a) Nini = "dog"
(b) Nin@Na = "by dog"
(c) N@Nini = "of the dog"

Anyway, so going back to your examples (which I'l requote):

   Town name:     Ouagadougou
   Dialect name:  Ouapadoupou

This could be two words "wa" and "du", and you could have
a genitive prefix and an instrumental prefix on "du" (there's a
lot of case stacking in Moro).  And, of course, even though the
word stays the same, the noun class may change since in one
you're talking about a town and in the other a language.

This is all conjecture, though.  You need a native speaker to
really be able to find out.