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Dissertation

A Grammar of Konso

This dissertation provides a description of Konso, a Cushitic language spoken by about 250,000 speakers in the South-West Ethiopia.

Author
Ongaye Oda Orkaydo
Date
28 March 2013
Links
Published by LOT
Full text available in Leiden University Repository

This dissertation provides a description of Konso, a Cushitic language spoken by about 250,000 speakers in the South-West Ethiopia. It presents analyses of the phonology, morphology and syntax of the language. Aspects of pragmatics including greetings and leave-taking expressions, interjections and ideophones as well as the link between naming of week days and how these relate to the distribution of big markets in the Konso area are discussed. A sample of two texts and a list of singular-plural pairs of nouns with their corresponding gender values is included. The data underlying the analyses are based on the researcher’s native speaker intuition and fieldwork in Konso area where other native speakers are consulted.

Konso phonology is characterised by having a full set of labial, alveolar, palatal and uvular voiced implosives but no ejectives which contrasts with what is observed in geographically and some genetically related languages. The language has a rich morphology as evidenced in its nominal and verbal inflections. The work accounts the intricate link between gender and number marking in nominals, it explicates variation in number- and person-marking in affirmative and negative verb paradigms and presents analyses of nominal and verbal derivation. Various clause-linking strategies and the way these relate to person marking of the subject are examined. Word order in simple as well as in complex clauses is discussed.

This study is of interest to specialists in Cushitic and Afroasiatic languages for historical-comparative purposes. It will be a valuable source for typological comparison and for testing theoretical claims. 

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