By William E. Welmers
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Extra resources for A Grammar of Vai (University of California publications in linguistics; v.84)
The first member may be a free noun, a relational noun, or a verb. The second member is in almost all cases a free noun or a relational noun, though one stem classified as an adjective is attested in this usage. Regular com- pounds are formed by a special tone rule, and are written with a hyphen between the two members. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this use of hyphenation is intended specifically to signal the application of this tone rule. In a practical orthography, hyphenation should be used systematically; decisions as to where to use a hyphen should not be made independently for every combination where a hyphen might be suggested.
It is only by virtue of its implied individuality that a personal noun by itself has singular reference. With a personal noun, therefore, the 46 A Grammar of Vai first word in the definition "individuated plurality" for the morpheme /nu/ is redundant, and what remains is mere plurality. Number refe- rence is, therefore, only secondary in the semantic structure of Vai nouns, no matter how real it may be. 2 above, is clearly the third person "singular" pronoun /a/ followed by the individuated plural marker /nu/.
The stem /bo'o/ 'hand, arm1 has high tones in its more obvious nominal usages. It has low tones, /bo'o/, however, when used in an adverbial complement in the common expression for personal possession, the thing possessed being in or at one's hand. " It remains crucially important to recognize, however, that many other forms frequently used in this construction, in spite of their semantic similarity to English prepositions, are full-fledged nouns with obvious nominal usages. 8. Several forms are probably best analyzed as compound relatio- nal nouns rather than as sequences of independent relational nouns.
A Grammar of Vai (University of California publications in linguistics; v.84) by William E. Welmers