The borrowing of aspects as lexical tone classes Y-intial Tuareg verbs in Tasawaq

Authors

  • Maarten Kossmann

Keywords:

Tasawaq, Songhay, Tuareg, tone, perfective

Abstract

In Tasawaq, a Northern Songhay language of Niger, there exists a lexical tone class distinction between stative and active verbs. This tone class distinction only exists in one class of verbs borrowed from Tuareg, verbs with an initial y-. In this article, I argue that the tone class distinction reflects the Tuareg difference between a Short Perfective aspect, used in active contexts, and a Long Perfective aspect, which is mainly found in stative contexts. In Tasawaq, this aspectual distinction has been reinterpreted as a difference in lexical class.

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Published

2007-06-15