Morpological stratification in Dinka


  • Torben Andersen


Dinka, Nilotic, vowel length, syllables


Dinka is a Western Nilotic language with three contrastive degrees of vowel length, two contrastive voice qualities in vowels, and three contrastive tones. Although to a large extent a monosyllabic language, Dinka has an elaborate morphology. In monosyllabic words the morphology is manifested solely by alternations among values of a number of phonological parameters of the root, including, among others, vowel length, voice quality, and tone. In this article the alternations of these three parameters are systematically set forth and described for the core of the derivational and inflectional morphology of transitive verbal roots in the Agar dialect of Dinka. Furthermore, it is argued that morphologically complex monosyllabic verb forms are analysable as configurations of morphological layers at which values of the phonological parameters are specified, such configurations being underlying phonological representations.