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Journal Articles Linguistique et Langues Africaines Year : 2022

The role of the Babanki noun phrase-final enclitic class marker


Babanki, a Grassfields Bantu language of the NorthWest Region of Cameroon exhibits a noun phrase (NP) level enclitic class marker related to that found in other Ring languages such as Aghem and Lamnso'. As is common in Ring noun class systems generally, all modifiers within the Babanki NP agree with their nominal heads by prefixed or procliticised concords. Surprisingly, under certain conditions, there is an additional NP-final enclitic, which also indexes the noun class of the head noun. The question that arises is why such an additional enclitic indexing of noun class is necessary. The aim of this paper is to provide a description of the Babanki noun class enclitic with respect to both syntactic and semanticopragmatic parameters-something which has not been tackled before in any of the available descriptions of Babanki grammatical structures. As for syntactic conditions, two crucial parameters determine the presence vs. absence of the NP enclitic class marker: (1) the internal composition of the NP with respect to (a) the type of modifier involved and (b) the presence of the head, and (2) the NP-external conditions, in particular with respect to the syntactic position of the NP. As for pragmatic factors, a minimal trace of the influence of the NP's focus status on the occurrence of the enclitic can be detected in the systematic absence of the enclitic on modifiers that are inherently focalized.
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hal-03814464 , version 1 (14-10-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03814464 , version 1


Pius W. Akumbu, Roland Kiessling. The role of the Babanki noun phrase-final enclitic class marker. Linguistique et Langues Africaines, 2022, 8 (1), pp.1-40. ⟨hal-03814464⟩


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