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Re: Grammatical tones

From:Muke Tever <mktvr@...>
Date:Friday, August 23, 2002, 21:23
From: "Karapcik, Mike" <KarapcM@...>
> | How plausible is it for tones to have a grammatical > | rather than lexical meaning? For instance, where many > | languages have articles, this one would have different > | tones instead. Or perhaps verb number or tense would be > | indicated thus. > > It occurs in natlangs.
> I believe it's the book "Describing Morphosyntax" that gives an > example from an African language where tone pattern is the only thing to > distinguish between two different tense/aspect states of the same clause > (person and number doesn't change). I don't have the book with me right now, > unfortunately....
One of the first examples in the book, in a discussion of how morphemes are not necessarily linked to separable "pieces of form": éyétá emutí remove.meat pot.ACC "She removed meat from the pot." eyéta emúti remove.meat.MID pot.NOM "The pot is 'de-meated'." The language is Maasai. ('e' and 'u' in the example use the [E] and [U] IPA symbols). *Muke! --