By Hellenthal, Anneke Christine
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Extra info for A Grammar of Sheko (Omotic)
In the phoneme inventory, most remarkable is the series of four retroflexes (plain and ejective stops, voiceless and voiced fricatives). Vowel length is phonemic and the language has a (much-used) syllabic nasal. Sheko has four level tones and borders Benchnon which has five levels of height. Lexical tone of verbs is however restricted to two classes. Furthermore, tone on verb stems varies to reflect modal distinctions. Nouns are marked for definiteness and gender, and indirectly for number, although nouns are basically transnumeral.
1 Previous linguistic work As for linguistic analysis of Sheko, there are only a few accessible data on the language. There are some unpublished fieldwork notes from the early ’70s (Bender, Fleming) and we find some notes in Fleming’s “Omotic overview” (Bender (1976)). The main work on Sheko is Aklilu (1988), which deals with the phonology, morphophonemics and basic syntax of the Sheko language; I started the preliminary research with his highly valuable grammar in mind. Aklilu presented some more (unpublished) materials at conferences; such as a paper on aspects of Sheko morphology (1989).
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. Verb derivation includes causative, passive and middle. Interestingly, the reciprocal is built by causative-middle suffixes. Some experiencer verbs are causative, with the Experiencer as an object. Interrogatives are marked in several ways.
A Grammar of Sheko (Omotic) by Hellenthal, Anneke Christine