The conditional mood in Ghomálaʼ

Authors

  • Gaston Bessala
  • Francine Moguo

Keywords:

conditional, Ghɔmálá’, Grassfields Bantu

Abstract

This paper sets out to examine the conditional mood in Ghɔmálá’, a Grassfields Bantu language spoken in the Western Region of Cameroon. This article shows that the elements used to build conditionals can play other roles in the language; they can play the role of focus particle, relativizer and even copula. Two main conditional markers are used in Ghɔmálá’ and are found at clause initial position. Contrary to other languages where the future and present tenses express unreal conditionals and past tenses express reality conditionals, Ghɔmálá’ uses past tenses for unreality conditionals and present and future tenses for reality conditionals. Conditionals in Ghɔmálá’ have many pragmatic uses and their use must be judicious due to the numerous functions they assume.

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Published

2017-06-01