The noun class system of u̱t‑Maꞌin, a West Kainji language of Northwestern Nigeria

Abstract

This present work provides a comprehensive overview of the noun class system of u̱t‑Maꞌin, a Benue‑Congo (West Kainji) language of Northwestern Nigeria. The u̱t‑Maꞌin language is characterized by a complex noun classification system and a robust agreement system that permeates the language. While an understanding of the noun classes is essential to an understanding of the language as a whole, discussion includes the division of nouns into thirteen distinct classes, marked by prefixes on the nouns themselves and by agreement elements on other clause constituents. The relationship of the noun classes of u̱t‑Maꞌin to historical reconstruction work available for the noun class systems of both Proto‑Benue‑Congo and Proto‑Kainji is explored, and the robust noun class agreement system that affects numerals, quantifiers, the associative construction, the pronoun system, the indefinite and definite articles, adjectives, and the interrogatives “which?” and “what?” is described.

Of particular interest to the reader are the semantic properties that characterize the noun classes and the noun class pairings; these semantic characteristics also serve as the primary criteria for the assignment of a noun to a particular class or class pairing. Also of interest are the varied forms of the associative markers and the use of both prefixes and suffixes to mark agreement on clause constituents.

Title
The noun class system of u̱t‑Maꞌin, a West Kainji language of Northwestern Nigeria
Publication
M.A. Thesis
Date
February 2007

Citable as

Smith, Rebecca Dow. 2007. The noun class system of u̱t‑Maꞌin, a West Kainji language of Northwestern Nigeria. M. A. Thesis, University of North Dakota. Grand Forks, North Dakota. https://arts-sciences.und.edu/academics/summer-institute-of-linguistics/theses/2007-smith-rebecca-d.html

Tags:
Subject Languages:
Countries:
Cities:
Content Mediums:
Organizations:
Rebecca Paterson
Rebecca Paterson
Postdoctoral Researcher

My research interests include field linguistics, grammatical description, and translation.

Related