Documentation and Grammatical Description of Kara

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Addis Ababa University


This study focuses on the documentation and grammatical description of Kara. Kara is the name of the people and the language. The Kara language, which belongs to Afro-asiatic phylum and Omotic family, is spoken by approximately 1,000 people. The data for documentation and grammatical description has been collected using communicative events and elicitation with the aim of building the corpus of the language. The grammar description part of the study examines the phonological, morphological and syntactic structure of the Kara language. The phonemic inventories show that Kara has 28 consonant phonemes and ten vowel phonemes with [+ATR] or [-ATR] value. Kara nouns distinguish gender/definiteness, number and case. Kara has two way gender distinctions: the masculine and the feminine, and it is semantically motivated. One of the fascinating features of the Kara language is that it uses feminine gender to express augmentative value, but it uses masculine gender to express diminutive semantic value. Kara morphologically distinguish singular from plural. The number system of Kara is also fascinating, i.e. the modifiers agree in number with their head. Adjectives, numerals and demonstratives become singular or plural based on the number of the head noun. The study has also investigated the pronouns and the verbal and nominal modifiers. Furthermore, it describes the structure of the verb roots and the formation of the verb stems. Kara has three verbal forms, and the verb root does not stand alone to form an independent word. The grammar also offers details about sentence types, complex sentences and word-order. Kara is a verb final language, hence, SOV is the basic word-order employed. The order of the noun and its modifiers is flexible. Adverbial clauses may come preceding or following the main clauses. Objects, time adverbs, and very rarely the subject can occur following the main verb in spontaneous speech. Lastly, the study presents transcribed, glossed and translated Kara text, exported as interlinear text from ELAN and the metadata for major activities.



Kara is the name of the people and the language