This thesis is a description of some aspects of the grammar of Sɛlɛɛ, a Ghana-Togo-Mountain (GTM) language, based on my own fieldwork. The thesis consists of an introduction and five papers.
Paper (I), Noun classes in Sεlεε, describes the noun class system of Sɛlɛɛ. It consists of eight noun class prefixes, four marking singular and four plural. They are paired in irregular ways to form eight genders (singular-plural pairs). Nouns agree with determiners, numerals and interrogative qualifiers within the noun phrase and can be indexed on the predicate. Nouns are allocated to classes/genders based partly on semantic notions.
Paper (II), Sεlεε (with Francesca Di Garbo), details the morphological encoding of diminution in Sɛlɛɛ either by the suffixes -bi, -bii, -mii, -e or -nyi alone or in combination with noun class shift. Augmentation is not expressed morphologically.
Paper (III), The tense and aspect system of Sεlεε: A preliminary analysis, shows that Sɛlɛɛ, unlike most Kwa languages, has a rather elaborate tense system encompassing present, hodiernal, pre-hodiernal and future tenses. The aspectual categories are progressive, habitual and perfect. Both categories often amalgamate with first person singular subject clitics.
Paper (IV), Standard negation in Sεlεε, deals with the negation of declarative verbal main clauses. This is primarily encoded by a high tone, sometimes combined with segmental morphemes, portmanteau negative tense-aspect morphemes and vowel lengthening. Each tense-aspect category has at least one particular negation strategy.
Paper (V), Unravelling temperature terms in Sεlεε (with Francesca Di Garbo), investigates the grammatical constructions employed for temperature evaluations. Personal feeling is only encoded via subjects, while ambient and tactile evaluations are construed attributively and predicatively.
A comparison of Selee and other GTM languages revealed similar noun morphologies but very different verbal morphologies.