The Grammar of Girirra (A Lowland East Cushitic Language of Ethiopia)

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Addis Ababa University


This study examines the grammatical description and provides a descriptive discussion, analysis of the whole grammar of the Girirra. It attempts to describe the core components of linguistics such as phonology, morphology, and syntax. To carry out this study, the Basic Linguistic Theory (Dixon 2010a and b Vol. I) and I): A guide for Field Linguistics, (Payne 1997) is predominately employed as a theoretical framework. Although the data collection of the study was focused on planned elicited data, attention was also given to text data, which consists of free narratives. In other words, in addition to elicited data i.e. controlled and limited, uncontrolled and open-ended text data like animal tales, tales of men, proverbs, and riddles have been collected and used to carry out the study. Thus, the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the language have been described based on its own terms, rather than trying to impose a particular theoretical model on the target language. In light of the above background, different components of phonology such as phoneme, phonotactics, syllable, and phonological processes have been identified and discussed. Inflectional and derivational morphology of the noun and verb have been explored. Different inflectional and derivational affixes of nouns have been identified and discussed. Of these, case, number, definiteness, gender, agent noun, verbal noun, action noun, and result noun are the major ones. Seven and twelve distinct categories of subject/object pronoun and possessive pronoun have been identified and examined respectively. Different components of verb morphology such as agreement, aspect, tense and mood have been properly addressed. Negative in verb is also treated. Verb derivations including causative, passive, reciprocal and inchoative have been considered. Likewise, predicate nominal tense-less copula clause, past copula and existential copula clauses been identified and discussed. Major components of adjectives have been addressed. They are semantic types, attributive adjective, predicate adjective, reduplication, inflection, and derivation of adjectives. Similarly, under syntax phrases, clauses interrogatives and word order have been examined. In general, this study may be used as references and as points of departure for further research to enrich the existing knowledge of the Lowland East Cushitic.The study may also help to develop literacy materials for the speech community to use and maintain their language.



grammatical description, and provides a descriptive discussion, analysis of the whole grammar of the Girirra