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Title: The declension of Somali nouns
Author: Andrzejewski, B. W.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1961
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In the literature on Somali grammar the exponents of gender and number have been given much attention, while the declensional system has passed almost entirely unnoticed. There are two main reasons for this gap: the use of the inadequate traditional techniques of description and the failure to examine the whole range of accentual patterns in Somali nouns. The aim of this thesis, which is a result of over twelve years of research into the language, is to fill the gap in the present knowledge of Somali by providing formulations concerning the nature of Somali declensions, and by describing their exponents and distribution. Moreover, the use of a special descriptive framework is demonstrated in the handling of the data. Although this framework has been developed ad hoc to suit the descriptive needs of the language and has been used here for the first time, the methodological approach is not entirely new and has been used by Kenneth L, Pike, Charles C, Pries and the three authors of the Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. The exponents of Somali declensions consist of inflectional characteristics and/or accentual patterns which are composed of sequences of various types of tone and stress. The distribution of the exponents is determined by the position of a particular noun form in the sentence, with respect both to its place in the word order and to its grammatical interdependence with other words. The relevant positions of noun forms are first classified (in Part II), and then (in Parts III and IV) a detailed description of the declensional exponents in each position is given, together with examples taken from spontaneous speech. In the conclusion, comparison is made between the grammatical characteristics of noun forms and nominal clusters (extended nouns) and it is shown that nominal clusters have features parallel to the declensional features of nouns. As yet Somali has no official orthography. Brief notes- on the method of transcription used in the thesis are given in an Appendix.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral