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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter gives a brief description of the grammatical structure of Biali, an Eastern Gur language spoken in the north of the Republic of Benin. It examines major aspects of phonology (five vocalic phonemes; fifteen distinctive consonants; a tonal system contrasting high, mid, and low; syllable structure) and morphosyntax. The description of nominals highlights the noun class system consisting of fifteen classes and deverbal and denominal suffix-based derivation. Nominal compounding is characterized by the use of two or more lexemes expanded with class markers. Noun phrases, adjectives, pronouns, and numerals are also dealt with. Verbal description includes derivational processes, the TAM system, negation, focus, and adverbs.

Keywords: Biali, Gur, Benin, phonology, morphosyntax, derivation, compounding, noun class system, TAM

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