A Grammar of Sheko (Omotic) by Hellenthal, Anneke Christine

By Hellenthal, Anneke Christine

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Furthermore, negative and interrogative clauses have their own marking. g. for politeness and reported speech, whereas a direct stance marker makes an utterance more direct and less polite. e. cosubordinate verbs which have no aspectual and modal markers (although the tone on the verb stem indicates modal distinction to a degree). Medial verb forms are marked for switch-reference and medial verb clauses often form long chains. The language has verb-verb sequences which can be analysed as serial verb constructions; they differ morphologically from medial clause chains in that the first verb form consists of a bare stem, and functionally in that they present actions as a single event.

The example below demonstrates that w patterns with the velar consonants. (60) a. b. m̩ =bààs-kì-k 1SG=want-exist-REAL ‘I want’ n̩=gèètʂʼù-kì-k 1SG=laugh-exist-REAL ‘I am laughing’ [ ʔm̩ bà k] [ ʔŋg ̩ èeʈ̀ ʂʼʊ̀ k ] 60 c. 2 Distribution The distribution of the syllabic nasal in nouns is restricted to the second syllable. (61) ʃāpʼm̄ kūbm̄ ʈʂʼádǹ ūūtǹ sagǹ kásń ʔyázń ‘larvae of bees’ ‘four’ ‘war’ ‘rat’ ‘nine’ ‘whiskers’ ‘right’ dīkǹ ‘heel’ kōok ̄ n̄ ‘road’ tsʼííkʼǹ ‘charcoal’ ʔyátsʼń ‘moon’ úʃń ‘flower’ góórʐń ‘throat, gullet’ ʃōrǹ ‘fear’ Like nouns, verb stems never have a syllabic nasal in the initial syllable.

However, all other consultants disagreed. (56) yeta ~ yəta nata ~ nəta náta ~ nə́ta ‘you (sg)’ ‘I’ ‘we’ The status of schwa in Omotic is difficult. Bender (2003) mentions a sound correspondence a~e and suggests it might be a sixth vowel, but it is not straightforwardly reconstructable for proto-Omotic (see Bender 2003:133-4; 263; 311). The vowels e, o and ə do not occur as terminal vowel in nouns underlyingly. One word with final ay contracts to e, notably báỳ ~ bé ‘mother’. 2 Vowel length All vowels except schwa occur short and long.

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