Sketch of Moore morphology and syntax
In this section, an overview is given to characterize in very few words the basic characteristics of grammatical features.
- Inflection: suffixes are predominant
- Derivation: suffixes only
- Compounding: right headed Noun-Noun
- Nouns: Inflectional classes for number marking: each noun has a pair of suffixes for singular and for plural; no semantic classes.
- Preverbal tense marking
- Aspect marking by suffixes and tone
- No subject-verb or other grammatical agreement.
- Reduplication: complete reduplication; many idiophones and adverbials
- Juncture feature: When two words or clitics come together within a pause group such that the first ends in a consonant and the second begins with a consonant, a transition vowel of central indeterminate quality [ə] is inserted between the two words or clitics. It takes the tone of the preceding foot and it is non-phonemic.
- Regular class suffixes:
genre I : sg. cl. 1 (-a) pl. cl. 2 (-ba)
genre II : sg. cl. 3 (-ga) pl. cl. 4 (-se)
genre III : sg. cl. 5 (-re) pl. cl. 6 (-a)
genre IV : sg. cl. 7 (-go) pl. cl. 8 (-do)
genre V : sg. cl. 9 (-fo) pl. cl. 10 (-i)
genre VI : sg. cl. 11 (-la) pl. cl. 12 (-li)
||sɩda / sɩdba
baga / bagba
|husband / husbands
diviner / diviners
|tɩɩga / tɩɩse
noaaga / noose
chicken / chicken (pl.)
|zaka / zagse
toaka / togse
|house / houses
||katre / kata
tʋbre / tʋba
|wobgo / wobdo
kõbgo / kõbdo
hair/ hair (pl.)
|boko / bogdo
rʋko / rʋgdo
|hole / holes
pan / pans
|fuugu / futu
puugu / puudu
|garment / garments
flower / flowers
||naafo / niisi
waafo / wiisi
||luiila / luiili
yubla / yubli
neck / necks
- Categories :
- Nouns, adjectives have nominal character. Most postpositions are nouns.
- Subject - Verb - Object (unmarked sentence order), though direct objects or location/temporal elements may be fronted for emphasis.
- Adpositions, determiners, adjectives are all post nominal, i.e. the head noun is always phrase initial with all its modifying elements following it. The determiner wã or -ã “the” or demonstrative bãma “those” is final. The quantifier is the only element that occurs after the determiner or the demonstrative pronoun.
- Negation is preverbal element ka or pa and a sentence final element ye.
- Tense: distinction between future and non-future (non-future is unmarked)
- Aspect: Perfective versus imperfective (Perfective aspect covers an action which is viewed as a whole or carries the idea of completion; imperfective aspect covers continuous and (usually) habitual actions.
- Mood: Realis versus irrealis (Realis mode is used in main clauses which are declarative in nature; irrealis mode is used for the future tense, and in imperative and optative clauses, as well as special uses in discourse.) Mood is marked by tone patterns.
- No overt case marking.
- Serial verb constructions are very common.
- Movement of constituents: focus and Wh-questions are fronted
- Passive: only impersonal passive.
- Clauses may be joined by the coordinating conjunctions tɩ “and”, la “and”, “but” or bɩ “or”.