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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Segmental and Tonal Structure of Verb Inflection in Babanki


In this paper we present a phonological and morphological analysis of the inflectional marking  of the verb in Babanki, a Grassfields Bantu language of the Ring subgroup in Cameroon. We show  that both the segmental markers and tonal patterns are sensitive to multiple past and future  tenses, perfective vs. progressive aspect, indicative vs. subjunctive mood, and negation. Of  particular interest is the discovery of a conjoint-disjoint (CJ/DJ) contrast better known from  Eastern and and Southern Bantu languages. After presenting the different tense aspect markers,  we develop rules assigning tone patterns by tense-aspect-mood-negation. Fourteen appendixes  provide full (color-coded) conjugations of eight verbs of different syllable structure and tone.

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