chapter  1
57 Pages

Class Markers in Pulaar

Fula is an accentual and aspectual subject-verb-object (SVO) language. The morphology of its nominal and verbal systems is said to be remarkably complex (cf. Amott, 1970). The verbal system includes three voices, active, passive and middle, and each of these voices can be conjugated in fifteen different tenses.1 Moreover, the nominal system displays about 25 class markers, the exact number varying slightly from one dialect to another, among which several variants have traditionally been distinguished as well. This dissertation aims at showing, through a lexical analysis of the class markers, that the nominal phonology and morphology o f Fula, at least of Pulaar, are much less complex and arbitrary than they appear to be.