A grammar of Lumun

Author: Heleen Smits
LOT Number: 465
ISBN: 978-94-6093-248-9
Pages: 831
Year: 2017
1st promotor: Prof. dr. Maarten Mous
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This dissertation investigates the grammar of Lumun, a Kordofanian language of the Talodi group, spoken in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. It offers a detailed description of the segmental phonology, tone system and morphology of the language, addressing issues of syntax and semantics as well. The book provides many examples and includes sample texts as well as a list of ca. 250 words including the Leipzig-Jakarta list.

 

Lumun has an eight-vowel system with ATR-contrast in the high vowels. This contrast, however, seems to be on its way out. Obstruent phonemes are only contrasted for place of articulation and are realized differently in different environments. There is extensive assimilation across morpheme and word boundaries.

 

The language has an elaborate noun class system. Modifiers agree with the noun class of their head noun, (non-dependent) verbs with the noun class of their subject. Next to sets of personal pronouns and clitics, there is a set of subject pronouns referencing common nouns of the various noun classes. These, too, induce agreement on modifiers and (non-dependent) verbs. A proclitic ‘restrictor’ attached to a modifier or verb phrase marks it as restricting the reference of the head noun.

 

Processes of grammaticalization can be seen at work in the complex verbal system, particularly in the expression of negation. The study further describes the various processes of formation of pluractional verbs as well as the derivation of benefactive, locative-applicative, causative, passive and reciprocal verbs. Further topics include conjunctions and question words.

 

The dissertation consists of two volumes.

This dissertation investigates the grammar of Lumun, a Kordofanian language of the Talodi group, spoken in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. It offers a detailed description of the segmental phonology, tone system and morphology of the language, addressing issues of syntax and semantics as well. The book provides many examples and includes sample texts as well as a list of ca. 250 words including the Leipzig-Jakarta list.

 

Lumun has an eight-vowel system with ATR-contrast in the high vowels. This contrast, however, seems to be on its way out. Obstruent phonemes are only contrasted for place of articulation and are realized differently in different environments. There is extensive assimilation across morpheme and word boundaries.

 

The language has an elaborate noun class system. Modifiers agree with the noun class of their head noun, (non-dependent) verbs with the noun class of their subject. Next to sets of personal pronouns and clitics, there is a set of subject pronouns referencing common nouns of the various noun classes. These, too, induce agreement on modifiers and (non-dependent) verbs. A proclitic ‘restrictor’ attached to a modifier or verb phrase marks it as restricting the reference of the head noun.

 

Processes of grammaticalization can be seen at work in the complex verbal system, particularly in the expression of negation. The study further describes the various processes of formation of pluractional verbs as well as the derivation of benefactive, locative-applicative, causative, passive and reciprocal verbs. Further topics include conjunctions and question words.

 

The dissertation consists of two volumes.

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