Morphology of Eža

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Addis Ababa University


Eža is one of the least studied ‘Gurage Languages’ of the Ethio-Semitic family. This study aims to provide descriptive account of its morphology. Thus, the inflection and derivation of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and numerals are considered. Some compound nouns and adjectives are also identified. It is shown that nouns are inflected for number, gender, definite article, and different types of cases. Affixes deriving nominals such as abstract, gerundive, result, group identity, agent and instrument are identified. Forms of pronouns and their inflections are discussed. Subject and object agreement pronominal affixes are shown. Verbs are grouped based on their radical and stem patterns. It is found that the verbs are inflected for person, gender, number, aspect, tense, and mood. Affixes and stem patterns that derive verbs including passive, reflexive, causative, frequentative, reciprocal, reciprocal causative, frequentative passive, frequentative of the reciprocal, and causative of the frequentative reciprocal are shown. Types of adverbs and their derivations are discussed. It is claimed that some time adverb deriving affixes show past and future time. Adjectives are grouped into seven semantic fields and four ways of deriving them is shown. It is found that adjectives are not inflected for number and person but can be inflected for definite article. Numerals that have simple lexical representation are found to be only twelve. The other numerals of the language are derived from the simple numeral sets. Finally, summary of the main findings of the study