Conditionals in Jóola Eegimaa: A descriptive analysis


  • Mamadou Bassene


conditional, Eegimaa, Niger-Congo


The present study documents and analyzes conditional constructions in Jóola Eegimaa (Eegimaa, henceforth). On the surface, Eegimaa has morphemes which denote conditionality. However, these morphemes, me and éni, do not exclusively mark conditional clauses. They are also found in various other subordinate constructions where they introduce various clauses. The heart of my argument is that in Eegimaa, intonation is the most reliable indicator of conditionality. The data has clearly shown that the morphemes me and éni can be omitted in conditional constructions. The analysis has revealed two shared acoustic features between morphologically marked conditional sentences and those conditional sentences which do not contain any conditional morphemes. These features are (1) an intonation break separating the antecedent from the consequent, and (2) the antecedent consistently ending with a falling pitch.