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A Grammar of Galo

Submitted by
Mark William Post
B.A. (Honours), Wesleyan University
M.A., University of Oregon

A thesis submitted in total fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

Research Centre for Linguistic Typology
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
La Trobe University
Bundoora, Victoria 3086
Australia
September 2007
1

2

Abbreviated Table of Contents
Summary ........................................................................................................................... 20
Statement of authorship .................................................................................................... 20
Dedication ......................................................................................................................... 21
Acknowledgements........................................................................................................... 21
Abbreviations used in this work ....................................................................................... 24
1. Introduction............................................................................................................... 28
2. Historical development – From Proto-Tani to modern Galo dialects....................... 82
3. Phonology I – Segment to syllable ......................................................................... 124
4. Phonology II – Word and phrase ............................................................................ 152
5. Word classes and word-formation processes .......................................................... 204
6. Noun phrase types, structure and constituents ........................................................ 290
7. Pro-forms, including demonstratives ...................................................................... 320
8. Post-head modifying nominals: Relator nouns, numerals, classifiers and qualifying
nouns ....................................................................................................................... 374
9. Clause types ............................................................................................................ 406
10. Predicate complex ................................................................................................... 444
11. Predicate derivations ............................................................................................... 460
12. Predicate inflections................................................................................................ 568
13. Particles................................................................................................................... 612
14. Grammatical, semantic and pragmatic noun phrase functions and their marking .. 682
15. Nominalization and nominalization-based constructions ....................................... 752
16. Multi-clause constructions (not based on local nominalizations)........................... 782
17. Postscript: The future of the Galo language ........................................................... 852
Appendix A: Glossary of Roots………………………………………………………... 855
Appendix B: Summary of PTB – PT – PG – Lare, Pugo Correspondences ................... 888
Appendix C: Illustration of PT – PG – Lare changes ..................................................... 892
Appendix D: Text corpus................................................................................................ 897
Appendix E: Text 1 – House construction…...………………………………………... 899
Appendix F: Text 2 – The Story of Tazi and Taro ......................................................... 910
Appendix G: Text 3 – The Frog Story ............................................................................ 926
Appendix H: References……………………………………………………………….. 939

3

Full Table of Contents
Summary ........................................................................................................................... 20
Statement of authorship .................................................................................................... 20
Dedication ......................................................................................................................... 21
Acknowledgements........................................................................................................... 21
Abbreviations used in this work ....................................................................................... 24
1. Introduction............................................................................................................... 28
1.1. Overview.................................................................................................................. 28
1.2. Galo language and culture ....................................................................................... 29
1.2.1. Cultural-geographical context............................................................................... 29
1.2.2. History; past and present distribution ................................................................... 33
1.2.3. Tribes, subtribes and clans.................................................................................... 35
1.2.4. Economy and village life ...................................................................................... 39
1.2.5. Religion and spiritual life...................................................................................... 44
1.2.6. goŋkù ‘classical language’.................................................................................... 44
1.2.7. Linguistic affiliations, dialects and subdialects .................................................... 46
1.2.8. Standardization and de facto standards................................................................. 47
1.2.9. Language context and language contact ............................................................... 49
1.2.10. Overview of linguistic features............................................................................. 53
1.2.10.1. Grammatical sketch ........................................................................................... 53
1.2.10.1.1. Phonology ....................................................................................................... 53
1.2.10.1.2. Morphology..................................................................................................... 53
1.2.10.1.3. Lexical classes ................................................................................................ 54
1.2.10.1.4. Functional classes ........................................................................................... 54
1.2.10.1.5. Clause types and clause structure ................................................................... 55
1.2.10.1.6. Relational and referential marking.................................................................. 58
1.2.10.2. Notable linguistic features ................................................................................. 59
1.2.10.2.1. Disconnect between “grammatical” and “phonological” words..................... 59
1.2.10.2.2. “Double case” and “functor fusion” ............................................................... 59
1.2.10.2.3. Classification................................................................................................... 61
1.2.10.2.4. Use of noun phrase relational/case markers in clause-subordination ............. 61
1.2.10.2.5. Predicate derivations....................................................................................... 62
1.2.11. Number of speakers and degree of endangerment ................................................ 63
1.3. Previous studies of the Galo and their language...................................................... 65
1.4. Theoretical framework............................................................................................. 70
1.5. Fieldwork conditions and data collected.................................................................. 71
1.6. Conventions ............................................................................................................. 74
1.6.1. Structure of examples ........................................................................................... 75
1.6.2. Transcription ......................................................................................................... 75
1.6.3. Phonological and grammatical words................................................................... 77
1.6.4. Dependent notation ............................................................................................... 77
1.6.5. Sourcing of data .................................................................................................... 79
1.7. Structure and organization ....................................................................................... 80
2. Historical development – From Proto-Tani to modern Galo dialects....................... 82
2.1. Morphological profile of Proto-Tani ....................................................................... 82
2.1.1. Syllable structure and tonality .............................................................................. 83
2.1.2. Availability of monosyllabic roots as words in Proto-Tani .................................. 83
2.1.3. Productivity of prefixing and compounding in Proto-Tani................................... 84
2.1.4. Grammatical morphemes in modern Tani languages often reconstruct to PT
lexical roots........................................................................................................... 85

4

2.1.5. Large or complex grammatical terms often reconstruct as collocations of simplex
terms...................................................................................................................... 86
2.1.6. Lack of morphophonological alternations or paradigmatic irregularities suggestive
of obsolesced morphology .................................................................................... 86
2.1.7. Interim summary ................................................................................................... 87
2.2. Shift to greater synthesis in the modern Tani languages ......................................... 87
2.3. Evolution in the relative status of “roots” and “words”........................................... 88
2.3.1. Lexical roots.......................................................................................................... 89
2.3.2. Lexical words........................................................................................................ 92
2.3.3. Roots and words, together (forever?).................................................................... 93
2.4. The historical development of Galo phonology....................................................... 94
2.4.1. Preliminary overview............................................................................................ 94
2.4.2. Pre-Proto-Tani....................................................................................................... 95
2.4.2.1. Initial stop voicing alternation ........................................................................... 97
2.4.2.2. *-ŋ ~ *-k alternation........................................................................................... 98
2.4.2.3. *-ŋ ~ *-r alternation ........................................................................................... 99
2.4.2.4. Vowel length alternations ................................................................................ 100
2.4.2.5. Tone alternations.............................................................................................. 100
2.4.3. Proto-Tani to Proto-Galo .................................................................................... 102
2.4.3.1. PPG Stage A: Prefixation and Root-nuclear harmonization (1)-(3) ................ 102
2.4.3.2. PPG Stage B: Segment losses and syllable erosion ......................................... 104
2.4.3.2.1. Non-palatal fricative deletion (4).................................................................. 104
2.4.3.2.2. Final liquid merger (5) .................................................................................. 104
2.4.3.2.3. Final nasal merger (6) ................................................................................... 105
2.4.3.2.4. Voiced fricative devoicing (7) ...................................................................... 105
2.4.3.2.5. Initial cluster simplification 1 (8) ................................................................. 105
2.4.3.3. PPG Stage C: Regressive palatalization (9)..................................................... 106
2.4.3.4. PPG Stage D: Initial cluster simplification and vowel shifts........................... 107
2.4.3.4.1. Initial cluster simplification 2 (10) ............................................................... 107
2.4.3.4.2. Vowel fronting and raising (11) – (13) ......................................................... 108
2.4.3.4.3. əə/oo-shortening (14) .................................................................................... 110
2.4.3.4.4. e-centralization (15) ...................................................................................... 110
2.4.3.4.5. Non-palatal i-lengthening (16)...................................................................... 110
2.4.3.5. PPG Stage E: Coda-simplifications and the emergence of Proto-Galo ........... 111
2.4.3.5.1. Final coronal stop deletion (17) .................................................................... 112
2.4.3.5.2. Final velar nasal deletion (18)....................................................................... 112
2.4.4. Proto-Galo to modern dialects ............................................................................ 113
2.4.4.1. Post-PG Stage A: rj-split, vowel shifts/reductions and gradual differentiation114
2.4.4.2. rj-split (19) ....................................................................................................... 114
2.4.4.3. Palatal fronting and raising (20) ...................................................................... 114
2.4.4.4. Rhotic-adjacent backing (21) ........................................................................... 115
2.4.4.5. Word-final weakening (22).............................................................................. 115
2.4.4.6. Intervocalic glide deletion (23) ........................................................................ 116
2.4.4.7. Post-PG Stage B: Fricative splits and separate ways....................................... 118
2.4.4.7.1. Pugo Deaffrication, and Fricative splits (24) ................................................ 118
2.4.4.7.2. Lare lowering (25) ........................................................................................ 119
2.4.4.7.3. Lare Palatal-adjacent backing (26) ............................................................... 119
2.4.4.8. Post-PG Stage C: The present day ................................................................... 120
2.4.4.8.1. Word-internal assimilation sandhi ................................................................ 120
2.4.4.8.2. Irregular medial gemination.......................................................................... 120
5

2.5. Conclusion ............................................................................................................. 121
3. Phonology I – Segment to syllable ......................................................................... 124
3.1. Summary overview ................................................................................................ 124
3.2. Consonants............................................................................................................. 126
3.2.1. Stops and affricates ............................................................................................. 126
3.2.2. Nasals.................................................................................................................. 129
3.2.3. Non-nasal continuants......................................................................................... 131
3.2.4. Fricatives............................................................................................................. 132
3.3. Vowels ................................................................................................................... 136
3.3.1. Diphthongs.......................................................................................................... 139
3.4. Marginal phonemes................................................................................................ 141
3.4.1. Glottal stop.......................................................................................................... 141
3.4.2. Underspecified syllable-final consonant -K........................................................ 143
3.4.3. Velar and labio-velar approximants ɰ and w ..................................................... 144
3.5. Syllables................................................................................................................. 145
3.5.1. Syllable canons at root and word levels.............................................................. 145
3.5.2. Moraic structure .................................................................................................. 147
3.5.3. Syllabification ..................................................................................................... 148
3.6. Loanword phonology ............................................................................................. 148
4. Phonology II – Word and phrase ............................................................................ 152
4.1. What is a “word” in Galo? ..................................................................................... 152
4.1.1. Grammatical word .............................................................................................. 154
4.1.2. Affix and clitic .................................................................................................... 155
4.1.3. Phonological word .............................................................................................. 156
4.1.3.1. Word prosody 1: Stress and meter ................................................................... 157
4.1.3.2. Word prosody 2: Tone ..................................................................................... 157
4.1.3.3. Word prosody 3: Glottal stop onset ................................................................. 158
4.1.3.4. Word prosody 4: Intonation contour................................................................ 158
4.1.3.5. Word structure 1: Bimoraic constraint............................................................. 159
4.1.3.6. Word structure 2: Boundary phonotactics ....................................................... 160
4.1.3.7. Word structure 3: Internal assimilation sandhi ................................................ 161
4.1.3.8. Word structure 4: Very long vowel constraint................................................. 163
4.1.4. Phonological phrase ............................................................................................ 164
4.1.4.1. Phrasal prosody 1: Stress and meter ................................................................ 165
4.1.4.2. Phrasal prosody 2: Tone................................................................................... 165
4.1.4.3. Phrasal prosody 3: Intonation contour ............................................................. 166
4.1.4.4. Phrasal structure 1: Final length neutralization ............................................... 166
4.1.4.5. Phrasal structure 2: Syncope............................................................................ 167
4.1.4.6. Phrasal structure 3: Triggered foot-strengthening ........................................... 169
4.1.5. Irregular phonological processes in the word and phrase................................... 172
4.1.5.1. Initial gemination ............................................................................................. 172
4.1.5.2. Phrase-medial truncation ................................................................................. 173
4.1.6. Trisyllabic sequences: word or phrase? .............................................................. 174
4.1.7. Interim summary ................................................................................................. 176
4.2. Prosody .................................................................................................................. 177
4.2.1. Theoretical-typological preliminary ................................................................... 177
4.2.2. Tone .................................................................................................................... 178
4.2.2.1. Overview.......................................................................................................... 178
4.2.2.2. First level derivation: morpheme to word........................................................ 179
4.2.2.2.1. Emphatic realizations at the word level ........................................................ 187
4.2.2.3. Second level derivation: word to phrase.......................................................... 189
4.2.2.3.1. Introductory overview................................................................................... 189
6

4.2.2.3.2. Boundary effects ........................................................................................... 189
4.2.2.3.3. Basic derivation of phrasal tone.................................................................... 189
4.2.2.3.4. Extended derivation of phrasal tone ............................................................. 193
4.2.2.4. Interim summary, with a note on transcription ................................................ 195
4.2.3. Stress ................................................................................................................... 196
4.2.3.1. Phonetic correlates of stress............................................................................. 197
4.2.3.2. Foot and dominance ......................................................................................... 197
4.2.3.3. Quantity-sensitivity.......................................................................................... 198
4.2.3.4. Recursive foot-formation and the phonological phrase ................................... 201
4.2.4. Integration of surface prosody ............................................................................ 202
4.3. Phonetics and phonology of Topic marker/imperfective copula əə....................... 203
5. Word classes and word-formation processes .......................................................... 204
5.1. Overview................................................................................................................ 204
5.1.1. Internal structure ................................................................................................. 205
5.1.2. Distribution and semantics.................................................................................. 205
5.1.3. Morphological marking ...................................................................................... 208
5.1.3.1. Derivations ....................................................................................................... 209
5.1.3.2. Inflections ........................................................................................................ 209
5.2. Word class semantics and subclassification .......................................................... 209
5.2.1. Theoretical-typological preliminary ................................................................... 209
5.2.2. Noun class semantics and subclassification........................................................ 211
5.2.2.1. Overview.......................................................................................................... 211
5.2.2.2. Kin.................................................................................................................... 212
5.2.2.3. Fauna................................................................................................................ 217
5.2.2.4. Flora ................................................................................................................. 217
5.2.2.5. Nature............................................................................................................... 218
5.2.2.6. Body parts ........................................................................................................ 219
5.2.2.7. Culture/artifacts................................................................................................ 220
5.2.2.8. Humans ............................................................................................................ 221
5.2.2.9. Shapes, physical types, sorts and quantities/measures..................................... 221
5.2.2.10. Relative and absolute orientation..................................................................... 222
5.2.2.11. Cardinal numerals ............................................................................................ 222
5.2.2.12. Ordinal numerals.............................................................................................. 222
5.2.2.13. Quantification and qualification ...................................................................... 224
5.2.2.14. Places ............................................................................................................... 224
5.2.2.15. Human proper names ....................................................................................... 225
5.2.2.16. Time ................................................................................................................. 227
5.2.2.16.1. Class 1: Calendrical ...................................................................................... 228
5.2.2.16.2. Class 2: Units and dimensions ...................................................................... 228
5.2.2.16.3. Class 3: Temporal shifters ............................................................................ 230
5.2.2.16.4. Class 4: Adverb-like time nouns................................................................... 233
5.2.2.16.5. Time noun functions ..................................................................................... 234
5.2.3. Adjective class semantics and subclassification ................................................. 238
5.2.3.1. Overview.......................................................................................................... 238
5.2.3.2. “Inner core” adjectives: Monosyllabic adjectival roots ................................... 241
5.2.3.3. Dimension ........................................................................................................ 242
5.2.3.4. Age ................................................................................................................... 243
5.2.3.5. Value ................................................................................................................ 244
5.2.3.6. Colour .............................................................................................................. 244
5.2.3.7. Physical property ............................................................................................. 246
5.2.3.8. Human propensity ............................................................................................ 248
5.2.3.9. Speed................................................................................................................ 248
7

5.2.3.10. Difficulty.......................................................................................................... 249
5.2.3.11. Similarity.......................................................................................................... 249
5.2.3.12. Position ............................................................................................................ 249
5.2.4. Verb class semantics and subclassification......................................................... 250
5.2.4.1. Overview.......................................................................................................... 250
5.2.4.2. Motion.............................................................................................................. 251
5.2.4.3. Existence and possession ................................................................................. 253
5.2.4.4. Posture and location......................................................................................... 255
5.2.4.5. Auxiliary of completion á- ‘keep’ ................................................................... 258
5.3. Word-formation processes ..................................................................................... 259
5.3.1. Word structure 1: Nouns and adjectives ............................................................. 259
5.3.1.1. Prefixed roots ................................................................................................... 262
5.3.1.1.1. a- prefix......................................................................................................... 262
5.3.1.1.2. ta- prefix........................................................................................................ 265
5.3.1.1.3. ja- prefix........................................................................................................ 266
5.3.1.1.4. pV- prefix...................................................................................................... 267
5.3.1.1.5. ho- prefix....................................................................................................... 268
5.3.1.1.6. pa- prefix....................................................................................................... 269
5.3.1.1.7. kVV- prefix................................................................................................... 270
5.3.1.2. Root-root compounds....................................................................................... 270
5.3.1.3. “Suffixlike” formatives.................................................................................... 271
5.3.1.3.1. Gender........................................................................................................... 271
5.3.1.3.2. Number ......................................................................................................... 273
5.3.1.3.3. Negativity...................................................................................................... 274
5.3.1.4. Two-term compounds ...................................................................................... 274
5.3.1.4.1. Symmetrical two-term compounds ............................................................... 275
5.3.1.4.2. Asymmetrical two-term compounds............................................................. 276
5.3.1.4.2.1. Common..................................................................................................... 276
5.3.1.4.2.2. Root-pivotal ............................................................................................... 276
5.3.1.4.2.3. Expressive .................................................................................................. 278
5.3.2. Word structure 2: Verbs...................................................................................... 279
5.3.2.1. N-V compounding and/or “lexical incorporation”............................................ 280
5.3.2.2. Cognate argument and adjectival root-combining constructions..................... 280
5.3.2.3. Discontinuous compound verbs....................................................................... 284
5.3.2.4. “Dummy” verb root pa- ................................................................................... 286
5.3.3. Word-structure 3: Adverbs ................................................................................. 286
5.4. Word class-changing derivations........................................................................... 287
5.5. Reduplication ......................................................................................................... 287
5.6. Word classes – summary ....................................................................................... 288
6. Noun phrase ............................................................................................................ 290
6.1. Types of noun phrase, headedness, constituency and order .................................. 290
6.1.1. Overview............................................................................................................. 290
6.1.2. Common NPs ....................................................................................................... 291
6.1.2.1. Structure........................................................................................................... 291
6.1.2.2. Constituents...................................................................................................... 292
6.1.2.2.1. Head .............................................................................................................. 292
6.1.2.2.2. Modifying nominals...................................................................................... 292
6.1.2.2.3. Genitive phrase ............................................................................................. 293
6.1.2.2.4. Demonstratives ............................................................................................. 294
6.1.2.2.5. Relative clauses............................................................................................. 295
8

6.1.2.2.6. Post-head modifying nominals: numerals, classifiers, relator nouns and
qualifying nouns............................................................................................ 296
6.1.2.2.7. Articles .......................................................................................................... 297
6.1.2.2.8. Postpositions ................................................................................................. 297
6.1.2.2.9. Particles......................................................................................................... 298
6.1.2.3. Headless NPs..................................................................................................... 299
6.1.3. Pronominally-headed NPs.................................................................................... 301
6.1.4. Proper name-headed NPs ..................................................................................... 302
6.1.5. Time noun-headed NPs........................................................................................ 304
6.2. Coordination .......................................................................................................... 304
6.2.1. Preliminary: coordination vs. apposition ............................................................ 304
6.2.2. Types of coordination in the noun phrase........................................................... 304
6.2.3. Coordination of NP heads .................................................................................... 304
6.2.4. Coordination of non-head NP constituents........................................................... 307
6.2.4.1. Coordination of modifying nominals............................................................... 307
6.2.4.2. Coordination of enumerative expressions........................................................ 308
6.2.4.3. Coordination of genitive phrases ..................................................................... 309
6.2.4.4. Coordination of relative clauses....................................................................... 309
6.2.5. Simple NP coordination ....................................................................................... 311
6.2.5.1. Conjunctive ...................................................................................................... 311
6.2.5.2. Disjunctive ....................................................................................................... 312
6.2.6. “List” NP coordination......................................................................................... 313
6.3. Apposition.............................................................................................................. 314
6.3.1. “Afterthought” NPs .............................................................................................. 315
6.3.2. Referential qualifying expressions...................................................................... 315
6.3.3. Apposition, afterthoughts, extraction and intonation.......................................... 317
7. Pro-forms, including demonstratives ...................................................................... 320
7.1. Personal pronouns .................................................................................................. 320
7.1.1. Animacy .............................................................................................................. 322
7.1.2. Clusivity.............................................................................................................. 324
7.1.3. History and compositionality .............................................................................. 324
7.1.3.1. Singular forms.................................................................................................. 324
7.1.3.2. Dual and plural forms ...................................................................................... 325
7.1.4. Basic functions.................................................................................................... 327
7.1.5. Extended functions.............................................................................................. 330
7.1.5.1. Demonstrative use............................................................................................ 330
7.1.5.2. Use in referential qualification......................................................................... 331
7.2. Reflexive pronouns ................................................................................................ 331
7.2.1. Structure .............................................................................................................. 331
7.2.2. Functions............................................................................................................. 333
7.3. Interrogative and indefinite pronouns .................................................................... 334
7.3.1. Pronoun of person jə̀(ə) ‘who’ ............................................................................ 334
7.3.1.1. Structure ........................................................................................................... 334
7.3.1.2. Functions.......................................................................................................... 336
7.3.2. Pronoun of person ɲíi ‘someone/somebody’ ...................................................... 337
7.3.3. Pronoun of quantity jadɨ ̀ ~ jadə̀ ‘how much/many’............................................ 338
7.3.3.1. Structure ........................................................................................................... 338
7.3.3.2. Functions.......................................................................................................... 340
7.3.4. Pronoun of content jòo ‘what’ and its derivatives .............................................. 341
7.3.4.1. Structure ........................................................................................................... 341
7.3.4.2. Basic functions................................................................................................. 342
9


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