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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Waja is spoken in Southern Gombe State, NE Nigeria. It is the largest language of the Tula-Waja group. Waja is one of the few “Adamawa” noun class languages and also one of the key languages validating the notion of an “Adamawa-Gur” genetic unit. In Waja, noun class markers are suffixed to the nouns, while the basic pattern of concord marking is bilateral affixation/cliticization. Verbs have three basic forms: two contrasting aspectual verb forms, “definite” and “indefinite”, and verbal nouns. Productive verb extensions are pluractional, altrilocal-ventive, passive/intransitive, applicative, directional, and benefactive. Basic motion and posture verbs form their own verb class, and they require copy pronouns. The basic word order in clauses is SVO; the head noun generally precedes modifiers. Notable phonological features of Waja are ATR vowel harmony with twelve phonetic and nine phonemic vowels, and prenasalized and labialized stops.

Keywords: Adamawa-Gur, ATR vowel harmony, copy pronoun, verb extension, noun class

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