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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Kumam is a Western Nilotic language that is spoken in central Uganda. This chapter focuses on the formation of a double downstep high tone, the function of middle sentences, and evidentiality in complementation. Kumam is a tone language with a low and a high toneme, exhibiting a double downstep high tone as a feature. Aspect (imperfective vs. perfective) is marked obligatorily with a suprasegmental morpheme, while tense is not marked in verbal complexes. Tense is expressed lexically. Kumam has no passivization, but middle sentences function as a passive equivalent instead. Kumam has two types of complementation, “paratactic” and “hypotactic”, that are different syntactically and semantically. For instance, when perception verbs are followed by a “paratactic” clause, they express direct perception. When they are followed by a “hypotactic” clause, they express indirect perception. There is the relationship between the complement types and evidentiality.

Keywords: Kumam, Western Nilotic, Uganda, double downstep high tone, suprasegmental morpheme, middle sentence, complementation, evidentiality

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