A Grammar of Mina by Frajzyngier, Zygmunt; Johnston, Eric

By Frajzyngier, Zygmunt; Johnston, Eric

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The head noun has final vowels deleted, as amply illustrated in examples below. This indicates that the head noun forms one phrase with the following modifying construction. 1 The modifying construction with noun as a modifier The modifying construction using the preposition to, has the form Noun phrase to Modifier. The modifier must be a noun, but the range of functions coded by such modification is quite wide, at least as reflected by the number of categories that cover the same range in other languages.

Ngdcf ngdtf i count count 3 PL 'They counted . ' ngdtf count Syllable-initial sequences of three consonants are not allowed. The schwa is inserted between words in a clause to prevent a disallowed syllable structure from emerging. ) PREP water 'and entered into the water' (natural discourse example) A schwa is also inserted to prevent a disallowed consonantal sequence from emerging. The sequence of a continuant followed by another continuant is disallowed, and consequently the schwa is inserted between the consonants: (79) kd ndd fä-* kä nd z' fu —» [ka nda zofu] INF go EE always 'Each time she went .

An outstanding feature of the phonological system of Mina is interaction between syntax and phonology whereby all word-final vowels other than grammatical morphemes are deleted in phrase-internal position. Vowel retention is a marker of the phrase-final position, and vowel deletion is a marker of the phrase-internal position. The language has two tones, high and low. The tone has lexical and grammatical functions. Some morphemes have inherent tones and others have polar tones, determined by the following or preceding tone.

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