By William E. Welmers
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Extra info for A Grammar of Vai (University of California publications in linguistics; v.84)
Final morpheme is /ma/ in one recorded case. , 'he stayed under') A stem /bu/, probably originally a relational noun meaning 'abdomen, stomach', is used as a free noun meaning 'pregnancy', and as a relational noun meaning 'width1. , 'my stomach is twisting1) Other compound bases, explicitly marked as such by tonal alternations, are treated in 7 below. 9. A morpheme /wa/ (homophonous with /wa/ introducing quotations; cf. 3 above) is interpreted as a relational noun, with three somewhat similar but distinct usages.
This certainly applies to forms in which the definite suffix would otherwise be the third of three identical vowels, even though all three would not have the same tone. The resultant contractions of vowels and tones are illustrated in the following, which hardly seem to require a separate statement of formal rules: laa 'a plankfish' : laa 'the plankfish1 laa 'a paddle* : laa 'the paddle laa 'a clay pot' : laa 'the clay pot' If not all of these contrasts are consistently maintained in rapid speech, it matters little to the structural analysis of the language, or for purposes of a practical orthography.
3. theirs' The possessor of a free noun is followed by a morpheme /a/ in- dicating the possessive construction. , kaie a keqe 'the man's house' g fa a niie 'my father's cow' The combination of a pronoun with this morpheme /a/ is, however, here written without space. with /&/, The first person singular pronoun combines hardly predictably, as /na/; the second person singular com- bination is /ya/. 4. 3-4 above. It will be noted that, in the preceding two sections, the specific form has not been used with relational nouns, but that it has regularly been used with free nouns.
A Grammar of Vai (University of California publications in linguistics; v.84) by William E. Welmers