By Russell G. Schuh

A Grammar of Miya describes a language of the Chadic family members spoken in Northern Nigeria. this is often the 1st documentation of Miya other than notice lists. The grammar describes all points of the language. Of specific typological curiosity are the tone method, a "terraced point" process within which tone operates over multi-syllabic domain names, and observe order, that is VXS in lots of contexts.

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Extra info for A Grammar of Miya (University of California Publications in Linguistics)

Sample text

NA 'tongue of a heron' -nasal -laryngeal L t~warn 'heron' NA HH L H H I I I I I aniyho auraur Following are examples of application and non-application of LOW RAISING depending on the initial consonant type. Some of the phrases in the left-hand colunm have undergone TONE SPREAD and/or INITIAL H LOWERING. The hyphenated -ya in two examples is a toneless feminine agreement suffix (8:§3), but because it has been associated with the first L by TONE SPREAD, it is part of the conditioning environment.

A tonal domain is minimally one syllable, but it may extend over many syllables and across word boundaries. Most Miya tone processes affect tonal domains ratber tban individual syllables or individual morphemes or words. In tbe lexicon, tonal domains bave one of tbree tonal associations. Tbe pitcb realization of tonal domain depends on wbetber tbe domain is utterance initial or follows some otber tonal domain. Tbe following table summarizes tbe realizations of each type of associated domain: 2 Tless 39 [- __ 1 21 am indebted to Brian McHugh, who first suggested a lexical ''Toneless'' domain.

Tonal Phonology (§2) A Grammar of Miya 46 47 1 I 'I One might suggest that multi-tone patterns on nouns of only three moras are in a precarious situation because of the perceptual considerations underlying tone association patterns outlined above. However, the unprefixed Toneless-H group is one of the largest single groups of nouns in the sample, with 27 tokens. The virtual absence of multi-tone patterns other than Toneless-H on 3-mora unprefixed nouns will have to remain a distributional fact not fully understood at this time.

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