Lexical items in mandingo (dissertation)


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this is my dissertation presented to the Language Studies Department Linguistic Unit, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Melvin Bunton Nicol

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Lexical items in mandingo (dissertation)

  1. 1. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY1.1 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM AND ITS JUSTIFICATION FORTHE STUDYMan’s interaction with his speech community can only be effectively enhanced throughcommunication. That is to say, language is always seen as an undividable partner of man fromcradle to grave: wherever man finds himself, he is always accompanied by language which isseen as an instrument through which man expresses his emotions, thought, feelings and evenfinds comfort in times of discomfort and emotional grief.Mandingo is one of the many languages predominantly spoken in the West African sub-region. Itis arguably the language with the biggest historical effect on the West African sub-region.Despite this impact on the region, researchers have proved that, the Mandingo language is still aminority language in sierra Leone and much of what has been said about the Mandingo peopleand their language are from oral tradition, little have been written down.But even though this is the case, it is still a vital language in Sierra Leone that is contributinglinguistically and none linguistically. That is to say, it has impacted greatly on other locallanguages, especially the krio language in enriching and increasing it lexicons. That is more thereason it is extremely necessary that a comprehensive and critical research about the lexicalitems of the Mandingo language, with a focus on it nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs is done,so that linguistics student, native and non native speakers of Mandingo will have the opportunityto learn and understand Mandingo lexical items and appreciate the rich nature of the language’slexicons.Undertaking a research like this, especially on such a Language with several Dialects is notsomething easy, it is very challenging and above all it requires extensive and a thoroughresearch. 1
  2. 2. 1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDYThe objectives are as follows: i. To identify and establish the elements that make up the lexical items in the Mandingo language ii. To make a critical and linguistic analysis of the operational value of lexical items in Mandingo. iii. To show how the lexical items in the Mandingo language are formed and how they are used syntactically in the language in order to enhance semantic impact. iv. To stimulate and foster research in Mandingo. 1.3 HYPOTHESIS This research shall prove that the Mandingo language like any other language constitutes lexical items and can be syntactically arranged to enhance effective and meaningful communication. 1.4 MOTIVE OF THE STUDY This study is done with the intention that it will serve as a useful and significant help to students of linguistics and researchers. It could be used as a source of reference if scholarship seeks to know: i. How Lexical items in Mandingo are listed. ii. About the internal structural arrangement of Mandingo Lexicon. iii. About word classes. iv. About Lexical variation in Mandingo. 2
  3. 3. 1.5 SCOPE OF THE RESEARCHThis research examines the lexical items in Mandingo, within the context of which the researchermain focus will be on nouns, adjectives, main verbs, and adverbs. The research reviewedfindings about the operational aspect of the Mandingo lexical items as they relate to nounclasses, verb tenses and aspect, various adjectives and the formation and types of adverbs.1.6 SOURCES OF DATA AND METHODOLOGYThis research sourced data from both literate and illiterate L1 speakers of Mandingo with thevariation of both young and elderly speakers.Data are collected from the above source with a tape recorder and notes were also taken downfrom interviews and perfunctory discussion on the topic of the research.Also, the research made use of data related to the topic from textbooks, dissertations, theses,published materials on the internet and lecture notes.The data collected from textbooks, dissertations, etc, are used to exemplify the topic, asexamples, and some are quoted from directly.1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE METHODOLOGY AND THE STUDYFirstly, most of the people interviewed especially the uneducated lack linguistic knowledge.Thus, it was difficult to find out about some of the necessary details. For instance the uneducatedpeople interviewed cannot tell the researcher head-on what the Mandingo adverbs and nouns are,or how Mandingo attest verb tense and aspect and whether nouns have possessive or not.This limitation was overcome by the researcher by breaking down the linguistic terms to simplewords and phrases like action words for verbs and names of places, things, and animals fornouns. And for some difficult concepts, the researcher asked the uneducated people interviewedlots of Mandingo sentences to puzzle out the concept in Mandingo. 3
  4. 4. Secondly, most of the writings available in the library on the Mandingo language are extensivelydone in French. This poses another big challenge to the researcher to either finding an Englishversion or preferably getting a linguistic copy accurately translated to maintain its originality.This challenge was curbed by the researcher through the help of French colleagues who werevast in translation.Thirdly, another limitation faced was the fact that the researcher is not a L1 speaker of thelanguage understudy. Being a non-native speaker was problematic for the researcher because hehad had to depend heavily on various native speakers, who were almost impossible to get in oneplace at a time to ensure the correctness of data obtained.This limitation was repressed by a simple handwriting questionnaire in both English andMandingo put together by the researcher and other colleagues that are L1 speakers of Mandingo.And finally, another major constraint met during the research was finance. Being a studentresearcher with little financial support was very hard to produce and reproduce photo copy oreven go to the internet café and get materials. Transportation was also a constraint.The above constraint were overcome by producing and reproducing chapters by handwriting andalso the researcher make sure much was done in a day to cut down on the cost.1.8 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE MANDINGOThe Mandingo or Mandinka people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the African sub-continent, based in West Africa. This ethnic group is represented today by approximately elevenmillion people. The history of the people is as interesting as their culture and belief system.In Sierra Leone, Mandingo is a major ethnic group and it officially constitutes 7.8% of SierraLeone’s population (Wikipedia 2011:1). The Mandingo in Sierra Leone shares the same cultureand language with the Mandinka people in West Africa. The Mandingo language also known asMandinka is their native language. This language is also spoken by millions of Mandinka peopleis Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea Bissau andChad; it is the main language of the Gambia. 4
  5. 5. The Mandingo language belongs to the Mande Tan sub group of the Mande group which is also,a sub family of languages in the Niger-Congo component of the Niger-Kordofanian family oflanguages and is thus fairly similar to Bambara. In Sierra Leone and a majority of other areas itis a tonal language with two tones: low and high, but the particular variety spoken in TheGambia and Senegal is a non-tonal and uses a pitch accent.The origin of the Mandingo language can be limned as far back as to the people of the ancientempire of Mali. This bunch of a language is said to have its origin in Kita, in the North West ofBamako.Historically, it is believed that the Mandingo people in Sierra Leone migrated from neighboringGuinea through the northern borders of Sierra Leone. This could be traced back between 1840 toabout 1900, when a Mandinka warrior called Samori toure had defeated the Limba led byAlimamy Suluku and had conquered a large territory in Limba areas in Northern Sierra Leone.The Mandinka, who were called and known as Mandingo by the colonial master – British, werelater amalgamated with the other natives and were found in many parts of Sierra Leoneincluding the capital – Freetown which was largely dominated by the Creole people.The Mandingo population is largely concentrated in Koinadugu District in the north, particularlyin Kabala and Falaba where they form the largest ethnic group. The Mandingo also makes up themajority of the population of Yengema, the second largest town in Kono District in the easternSierra Leone.1.9 LIFE OF THE MANDINGOMandingos in Sierra Leone live in family-related compounds in traditional rural villages. Theirvillages are fairly autonomous and self-ruled, being led by a council of upper class elders andchief who function as a first among equals.Traditionally, Mandingo society is hierarchical or “caste”-based with three divisions: nobles;(families of former kings and generals), the artisans (musicians and other freeborn) at the middleclass and finally, the vassals (“Jonw”/Jongo) at the bottom. In modern days this difference haseroded, corresponding to the economic fortunes of the group. 5
  6. 6. The Mandingo societies are patrilineal, patriarchal and of clan culture. The people arepredominantly traders and rural subsistence farmer who rely on groundnut, rice, millet and smallscale husbandry for their livelihood. During the raining season men plant peanut as their maincash crop; peanut is also the staple diet of the Mandingos.The Mandingos are predominantly Muslim since the 13 th century. Today, 99% of the Mandingosin Sierra Leone are Muslims. Many in the rural areas combine Islamic beliefs with certain pre-Islamic, animistic beliefs, such as the presence of the spirits, the use of Qur’anic verses writtenon slip of paper (sɛbɛ) and amulet for protection.In rural areas western education’s impact is minimal; the literacy rate in Roman script amongthese people I is quite low. However, more than half of the adult population can read the localArabic script; Qur’anic school for children where this is taught are quite more common.The Mandingo culture includes varied rich musical and spiritual traditions. They continue a longoral tradition of educating their children about their history through stories, proverbs and songshanded down through time. This cultural value and tradition has been kept alive by the musicalfamilies known as the Jeliba. The Jelibas serve as the cultural and traditional ambassadors ofMandingos. They are “praise” singers that play drums and the Kora – an exclusive Mandingotraditional instrument with twenty one strings or more.In Mandingo land marriages are traditional arranged by family members instead of the bride andgroom. This practice is particularly prevalent in the rural areas. Kola nuts are formally sent bythe suitor’s family to the male elders of the bride-to-be and if accepted, the courtship begins.1.10 THE SOUND SYSTEM OF MANDINGOThe sound system of a language simply refers to the orthography of the language. Like mostother African language, the Mandingo orthography is phonemic by nature. That is to say, thetranscribed symbols and the letters are the same. Both the sound and the letter are the same.Before the advent of the Europeans, the Arabic alphabet-based orthography was widely used bythe Mandingos because of the fact that the Mandingos are predominantly Muslims and thesubsequent learning of the Arabic scripts as part of their religious education. After colonialismthe Arabic alphabet-based orthography was replaced by the Latin orthography. The basis of 6
  7. 7. Latinized Mandingo orthography was established at the UNESCO expert meeting in Bamako,(Mali) in 1966. Various governments with Mandingo population have standardized variants ofthis orthography. However even though this was the case, majority of the native Mandingospeakers who are literate in Arabic phonology can approximate the Latin orthography and theArabic-based orthography.In addition, the Pan-Mande writing system, the N’ko alphabet, invented in 1949, is often used innorth-east Guinea, and bordering community in Ivory coast and Mali but not in Sierra Leone.The Mandingo sound system is made up of twenty-seven (27) symbols; seven (7) vowels, sixteen(16) consonants and four (4) diphthongs.Mandingo vowelsMandingo vowels are the speech sounds that are produced without an audible friction in the flowof air in the oral cavity. In other words, there is no direct contact of the articulators in theproduction of the sound.Here is the linguistic representation of the Mandingovowels. Front CentralBack Close – i u Mid close – e o Open mid – ɛ ɔ 7
  8. 8. Open – aBelow is an illustration of phonetic of Mandingo vowel phonemes.[i] = front close vowel as in[i] = you.[Ji] = water.[e] = front mid half close vowel as in[kelen] = one[fen[ = thing.[ɛ] = front mid half open vowel as in[kɛmɛ] = a hundred.[Gbɛ] = white.[a] = front open vowel as in[saba] = three.[Bara] = work.[u] = back close vowel as in[julu] = rope.[Kuru] = gem stone.[o] = back mid half open vowel as in[folon] = play.[Bon] = house. 8
  9. 9. [ɔ] = back mid half open vowel as in[bɔrɔ] = bag[tɔɔ] = nameNote: generally the Mandingo vowels have the same sounds as the Italian vowels. Doublevowels are use as a mere indication for emphasis and to indicate longer sound of the particularsingle vowel. For example these vowels;/a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, is made long by doubling the vowels as in taa, lee, sii, soo and muu.The doubling of vowels is important in distinguishing two words which might otherwise beambiguous of confusing as in:Fo = to sayFoo = to missYe = to seeYee = thereMandingo diphthongsA diphthong is a combination of two vowels, (one gliding towards the other usually involving aquick but smooth movement from one vowel to another) which are realized as a single phoneticunit. The following below are the Mandingo diphthongs.au = diphthong beginning with front opened vowel move to the back closed vowel as in ‘sauda’ (kettle)ai = diphthong beginning with front opened vowel and move to the front closed vowel asin ‘sani’ (basket)oi = diphthong beginning with back mid half opened vowel and move to the front closed as in ‘soiyinia’ (this morning)ei = diphthong beginning with front mid closed vowel and move to the front closed vowel as in ‘sei’ (to return) 9
  10. 10. Mandingo consonantsA consonant is a speech sound with or without vibration of the vocal cords in which the escapeof air through the mouth or nose is at least partly obstructed by the articulators.Below are the Mandingo consonants and their realization.CONSONANTS PHONETIC DESCRIPTIONS EXAMPLE AND MEANING/p/ voiceless bilabial plosive pani (pan)/b/ voiced bilabial plosive bori (run)/t/ voiceless alveolar plosive taa (fire)/d/ voiced alveolar plosive deni (kid)/k/ voiceless velar plosive kasi (cry)/g/ voiced velar plosive gato (lake)/f/ voiceless labio-dental fricative fani (clothes)/v/ voiced labio-dental fricative/s/ voiceless alveolar fricative saa (sheep)/z/ voiced alveolar fricative zamzam (zamzam)/m/ voiced bilabial nasal mɔɔ (a person)/n/ voiced alveolar nasal ninsii (cow)/ŋ/ voiced palatal nasal ŋ (I)/j/ voiced palatal lateral julu (rope)/l/ voiced alveolar lateral lii (honey)/r/ voiced alveolar trill kɔrɔ (old)/h/ voiced glottal trill haj (hajj)/w/ labio-dental approximant waa (to go) 10
  11. 11. Note: The phonemes /p/, /z/, lack full phonemic status. For /p/ it is more present now due toborrowing. It is only nearly characterized with respect to idiophones. Also /h/ is borrowed fromArabic. The phonemes /v/, /z/, /g/, and /q/ are not present in Mandingo. They are only used inMandingo in borrowed words CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW2.0 INTRODUCTIONThis chapter entails the review of the literature. Here, the researcher has endeavoured to criticallydiscuss the views of the authors on the issue of lexical item and the open class category.The researcher has given credits where credits are due, and has pointed out flaws where flaws arediscovered in the process of the review. Having done so, the researcher has then given his ownpoints of view – an attempt to rectify the flaws discovered.However, the review does not attempt to cover all literature on the study of lexical item and theopen class category. It is of course impossible to do so in an undergraduate dissertation chieflyconcerned with the study of the lexical items in the Mandingo language. This means theresearcher has to be selective in his choice of materials; works of authors which are not all thatrelevant to the study are not considered. Those that have some direct bearing to the topic andavailable are reviewed.The works that have been reviewed are as follows:Carson Berndsen (1993)R. D. Huddleston: (1984)Wallwork J.F (1985:68)R.H. Robin (1989:214)Joe Pemagbei (1997:6)George Yule (1985:19) 11
  12. 12. Penny Ur (1988:21)Wikipedia (2011)Encyclopedia Britannica (2011)Britannica Dictionary2.2 LEXICAL ITEMFrom Wikipedia the free encyclopedia: A lexical item (or lexical unit) is a single word or chain of words that forms the basic elements of a language’s lexicon (vocabulary)… “Cat”, “traffic light”… and “it’s raining cats and dogs” lexical items can be generally understood to convey a single meaning, much as a lexeme, but are not limited to single words. (2011:1)It could be understood that lexical item from the above definition are any word or wordsconveying a single meaning and to which an affix could be attached to form a derivation or aninflection, or to which another word is attached to form a compound word. The above definitiongives a lot about lexical item but what is lacking is the fact that lexical item is not just limited toa word or chain of words.The term lexical item is wide and covers other items which are not actually words but givemeaning. For instance the affixes: “-er”, “-ment”, “re-” and “-ly” are not words but conveymeaning in the following words – establisher, establishment, recent and recently. Thus, theresearcher agrees with this definition partially due to the fact that this definition only consideredwords as lexical items. 12
  13. 13. Looking at lexical items from semiotics (sign language) point of view, Berndsen has maintainedthat: The notion of lexical is used to convey any lexical sign type but also other inventor able items such as affixes and phonemes, whose lexical status in linguistics is controversial. Carson Berndsen: (1993)Lexical items as far as Berndsen is concerned transcend words. They are items that are signs andalso all other details such as affixes and phonemes that create meaning in languages. Thelimitation of this definition is that even though it gives more insight into the term lexical items, itfails to indicate that it could also include word or chain of words that are considered as a itemdue to it communication value.R. D Huddleston also presented his definition on the term lexical items. He says: A lexical item … may contain more than one lexeme or word: these are idioms such as bury the hatchet ‘renounce a quarrel’… lexical item may also be the preferred term for a word, words, or a phrase whose meaning is not deducible from the meaning of its parts; e.g. greenhouse, bucket shop (normally dealt with as compounds)..” Lexical item may also be used to mean a word form, such as an irregular inflectional form (of a lexeme) that would be expected to have a separate dictionary entry. R. D. Huddleston: (1984)Huddleston’s definition like the definition from Wikipedia places emphasis on words, but alsogoes further to embrace lexeme, which in most cases, are interchangeably used as lexical items.Huddleston, however, makes it clear that lexeme and lexical items are two distinct concepts inLinguistic. According to him, lexical item is a word, words, or a phrase whose meaning is notderived from the meaning of it parts whilst lexeme can be a ‘word’ which has a group of variants(e.g. see, saw, seen, etc.). 13
  14. 14. This definition is in place according to the researcher to some extent but the definition is limitedwith respect to the wider concept of lexical items.For instance, in the Mandingo language, the lexical item “kɛ” which means man in isolation andin another context, is actually not a word in the sentence below but help the adjective “jona”(quick) in the sentence to be an adverb meaning quickly. Damuni kɛ jona /eat/ /quick/ (Eat quickly)In the basic concept of syntax ……………………. Maintain that: Part of our linguistic knowledge involves knowledge of a large number of words. Which constitute our vocabulary…lexicon… the elements of lexicon are what we might think of as words...Syntactic theories have slightly different conceptions of what a ‘lexical item’ is, and so it is not always safe to think of the lexicon as just a stock of words… the lexicon of a generative grammar may contain a listing of various affixes, such as … (the affix that distinguishes the sheep walks from the sheep walk). Basic concept of syntaxAccording to ……………… lexical items are all elements of the lexicon of a language and notnecessarily words or chain or words but all items that contribute to the morphological andsyntactic structure to enhance meaning. The researcher extremely agrees with it even thought theauthor fails to mention sign and other gesture that contribute to meaning.According to J.F Wallwork (1985:68) , there are two categories of lexical items. It is necessary to make a distinction between two different types of words; sometime called lexical and grammatical words… Wallwork J.F (1985:68) 14
  15. 15. In his book, Wallwork was trying to make a dichotomy of lexical items. Indeed there are twocategories of lexical items – grammatical words which are also called function words, due totheir performance in syntactic structure and lexical words which are called content words.Content words are words that belong to the open class category of lexical items. These are thewords that are responsible to convey the meaning of sentence whiles the function words areresponsible to modify these meanings conveyed by the content words.2.3 OPEN CLASS CATEGORYThe term open class category is also referred to as open endedness or open word class. Thiscovers lexical items that are a sub-group under the lexical system of a language. An open is classis a word that accepts the addition of new items, through such process as compounding,derivation, coining, borrowing etc. open classes are the flexible side of a language. They can bechanged, replaced, or dropped from the lexicon.R.H. Robin (1989:214) propounded on the word classes, thus Word classes may be closed in membership; all languages have open class… an open class is one whose membership is in principle unlimited varying from time to time and between one speaker and another most loan words ( word taken from foreign languages) and newly created go into classes… nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs are open classesBeyond all reasonable doubts, the researcher agrees with Robin. The open class is potentiallyinfinite, since it is continually being expanded and language exchange continues to flourishamong individuals and speech communities.In English the open class category includes;NounsMain verbs (not auxiliary verbs)AdjectivesAdverbsInterjections 15
  16. 16. Interjections are normally formed as new words standing in for sounds and are added not onlyfrom technical background but also from comics and subtitling. It is on these cases we encountersuch – the noise of motor revving, sirens, mechanical sounds. Examples here are vroom, va-va-voom, zoom, grrh and so on.In Mandingo, the open class includes the following:NounsVerbs (main)AdjectivesAdverbsInterjections are not attested as belonging to class category in the Mandingo language. Lexical words belong to an open set it is virtually impossible to list them exhaustively, and it is always possible to replace them by other and to make new ones. They will usually be nouns verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. Wallwork J. F. (1985:68)To a great extent, Wallwork is right. The researcher agrees with him completely citing Mandingothat only these four word classes listed are flexible enough to be replaced by other classes; fromone particular class of word a new word can emerge. They give the language freshness as newwords are readily available to be changed, replaced to make new ones. For instance, in Englishthe noun suffix (-ian) can be suffixed to the verb ‘guard’ to suddenly change it from verb to anoun.This is also applicable in the Mandingo language. Examples are as follows:Noun Noun Derived wordlɔkɔli + de = lɔkɔlide (noun)(school) (child) (pupil)Noun Suffix Derived word 16
  17. 17. Yele + li = yeleli (verb)(laugh) (ing) (laughing)Verb Noun Derived wordGbodo + diya = gbododiya (noun)(cooking) (place) (kitchen)Noun Adjective Derived wordDe + kuda = dekuda (adjective)(child) (new) (newborn)Adjective Noun Derived wordSaya + kɔndɔ = sayakɔndɔ(funeral) (greeting) (condolence)Joe Pemagbei: also tries to advance a detail analysis of the open class category. He state that: Some word classes are open, that is, new words can be added to the class as the need arises. The class of nouns, for instance, is potentially infinite, since it is continually being expanded as new products are developed and new ideas, in the 20th century, development in computer technology have Given rise to many new nouns… internet, website, email, newsgroup, bitmap, modem and new verb such as download, upload, reboot, right click, double click… (1997:6)In this regards, the researcher totally agrees with Pemagbei even though the processes throughwhich this words are incorporated into the open class category are not being highlighted, but hesucceeds in giving a through explanation of the features of the open class category: the open 17
  18. 18. class will be potentially infinite since it is continually being expanded as new discoveries, newproducts and ideas explored.George Yule (1985:19) has advanced his concept about the open class category as he says: Open endedness is an aspect of language which is linked to the fact that the potential number of utterance in any given language is infiniteIn Yule’s definition of the open class category, open endedness (open class category) is notrestricted to a number of language. He established that, there are open endedness to any givenlanguage. The researcher agrees with him for the fact that based on his explanation, theMandingo language can be attested to open endedness. However looking at open class categoryon a different scale, it can be noticed that Yule concentrated on the unlimited utterances onlanguage and speech, whilst other linguist were specifically naming the word classes whichcould actually be considered as an open class category. A task that is open ended allows for lots of different learner response during its performance, and is therefore conducive to the production of varied and original ideas. Ur, Penny (1988:21)Ur and Yule to some extent share similar views which have to do with language and speech.In Ur’s definition the use of ‘different learner responses’ is a total break away because he wasconcentrating on language learning in which case unlimited learners responses can be classifiedas open endedness.Conclusively, it could be noted that all the works of the various writers and/or linguists quotedabove make a significant impact on attesting the open class category in languages generally andon the Mandingo language to be specific. It is as a result of the open class in any language thatlanguage dynamism is enhanced.It must be noted, however, that, there are open classes which are known as lexical category togenerative grammarian in Mandingo for which members of these category are nouns, adjectives, 18
  19. 19. adverbs and verbs. And there are closed word classes which are referred to as grammaticalwords. They are word classes that performed as functional word to enhance the grammar of thelanguage. These take the form of prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, and article and to someextent interjection. CHAPTER THREE NOUNS AND ADJECTIVES3.1 NOUNThe lexical item – noun is very vital in almost all the languages of the world for which the Mandingolanguage cannot be an exception. As stated in chapter two of this dissertation, noun is a word class thataccount for on the open class category in the Mandingo language. Therefore nouns are content words.They have meaning as independent words and new words can be generated in Mandingo with this part ofspeech by word formations, which contribute immensely to the freshness of the Mandingo language.According to Glencoe (2002); A noun is a word that names a person, a place, a thing or an idea Glencoe (2002:81) grammar and composition handbookNoun can also be defined as according to Betty Kirkpatrick (2009) 19
  20. 20. Noun is used to refer to a person, thing, or quality Kirkpatrick B (2009:72)The definition of noun is simple put in the MacMillan English; thinking and writing process A noun can name a person, place or thing (living and non living) that occupies space. The aforementioned definitions of a noun by the various authors are almost the same except for thedifference for ‘idea’ and ‘quality’ in the first and second definitions.A noun in Mandingo can be defined as a name of anything – a person, an animal, a place, a thing, an ideaor a concept. Mandingo nouns assume various shapes depending on whether they are: definite orindefinite and singular or plural.For easy understanding of the Mandingo noun as according to the various definitions, a list of examples isas follow: NOUNS (PERSON) MANDINGO ENGLISH EQUIVALENTFudumuso WifeDeni KidKee ManNfa FatherNnaa MotherMbori UncleMansa chief NOUNS (PLACE) MANDINGO ENGLISH EQUIVALENTSɛnɛ FarmBon HouseSila Road 20
  21. 21. Kɔgidada/Kɔgida Waterside NOUNS (LIVING THINGS) MANDINGO ENGLISH EQUIVALENTBaa GoatSaa SheepNisi CowBamba CrocodileUlu Dog NOUNS (IDEA) MANDINGO ENGLISH EQUIVALENTBoribori ChaosManamanah not seriousKeleya Jealousysayakɔndɔ CondolenceA noun can also be used as subject and object of a Mandingo sentence. This could be confirmed by theexamples below: 1. Boŋ tit ii yeŋ a bara wa sɛnɛdɔ. (subject) /house/owner/is not/here/he/went/to the farmland/ the house owner are not around he has gone to the farm. 2. Deŋninlu di wa lɔ kɔ lila (object) children/will go/school/to the children will go to school.In sentence 1 the bold underlined Mandingo noun “boŋ tit” (the house owner) is attested as the subject ofthe sentence, while in sentence 2 the bold underlined Mandingo noun “l ɔk ɔlila’ (school) is the subject ofthe sentence.3.2 NOUN CLASS 21
  22. 22. Noun is one of the most significant word classes in many languages and Mandingo is one such languages.Many nouns in Mandingo are derived from verbs through suffixation. Some other nouns are obtainedfrom borrowing from other languages.In the Mandingo language, unlike the English language, there is the attestation of noun class system,which is also a linguistic phenomenon in the Fula, Themne, and Kiswahili languages. Mandingo is a classlanguage with varied agreement system. It uses suffixes on the nouns. These suffixes indicate the definiteand the indefinite singular and plural forms of nouns. These suffixes are called “noun classes”.This is a concept in which each noun class carries a particular suffix or affixation to identify the class towhich that noun belongs.The following are some of the commonest noun classes in the Mandingo noun class system: - Ti possessor of/ ownership - La occupation or character of person and place - Ka place of origin or where a person comes from - Du place of or land of - Diya place of something or occupation and instrument - IA abstract concept - Nii diminutive forms - Fɔɔ illness; both mental and physical - Fee names of crops Examples illustrating the uses of the above noun classes are as follows: 22
  23. 23. The ‘-ti’ class comprised nouns that indicate possessor of or ownership. WORDS MEANINGWoditi Owner of moneyMansati A leaderFankati Owner of a power/ authorityBoŋti Owner of a housemɔbiliti Owner of a carThe ‘-la’ class is concerned with person and place. It shows occupation or character.WORDS MEANING WORDS MEANINGKamarala A place of kamara Kamaralalu A placeof karmasBorila Runner Borilalu RunnersTamala Walker Tamalalu WalkersKelela Fighter Kelelalu Fighterssɛnɛhkɛla Farmer sɛnɛhkɛlalu FarmersThe ‘-ka’ class shows place of origin or where a person is from.WORDS MEANING WORDS MEANINGSefaduka A person from sefadu Sefadukalu People from sefaduKabalaka A person from kabala Kabalakalu People from kabalaKissiduka A person from kiss Kissidukalu People from kissifadagbɛka An European fadagbɛkalu EuropeansThe ‘-du’ class is particularly concerned with “place of” or “land of”WORD MEANINGKissidu The land of kissiThe ‘-diya’ class shows place of something or occupation and instruments. WORDS MEANING WORDS MEANINGKharandiya A tailor shop Kharandiyalu Tailor shopskuumatɛdiya A barber shop kuumatɛdiyalu Barber shopkelɛkɛdiya War front kelɛkɛdiyalu War frontsThe ‘-ia’ deals with abstract forms.WORDS MEANINGHadamaia PolitenessSimaia Long lifeTeria FriendshipKolobalia Indiscipline 23
  24. 24. The ‘-nii’ class deals mainly with diminutive forms. WORDS MEANING WORDS MEANING Denii a child Deniilu children kɛnii A young man kɛniilu Young men Mɔni A tiny person Mɔnilu Tiny people Baanii A kid Baaniilu Kids The ‘-tɔɔ’ class deals particularly with illness, mental disorder and physical illness. WORDS MEANING Faatɔɔ A lunatic Jankarotɔɔ A sick person Nagbatɔɔ A restless or trouble person The ‘-fee’ class indicates names of crops – vegetables. WORDS MEANING Tiyafee A groundnut field Malofee A grain field3.3 PLURALThe word plural means two or more. It is a marker that is used with reference to mean more than one.Plural is a noun feature that indicates it is more than one person, animal, place or thing (the noun is morethan one). Examples are streets, potatoes, analyses, women, mice, etc.In the English language there are several inflections or markers for different cases to indicate the pluralsof nouns. CASE 1 To make most nouns plural, ‘-s’ is suffixed to the nouns. For examples: SINGULAR PLURAL One pen Two pens One street Two streets One rose Two roses 24
  25. 25. CASE 2‘-es’ is used for nouns ending in ‘-sh’, ‘-ch’, ‘-ss’, and ‘-x’.SINGULAR PLURALOne dish Two dishesOne match Two matchesOne class Two classesOne box Two boxesCASE 3If the noun ends in a consonant + ‘-y’, the ‘-y’ is change to ‘I’ and ‘-es’ is added.SINGULAR PLURALOne baby Two babiesOne city Two citiesNote: if ‘-y’ is preceded by a vowel, add only ‘-s’ boys, days and keys.CASE 4If a noun ends in ‘-fe’ or ‘-f ‘, change the ending to ‘-ves’ (exceptions: beliefs, chiefs, roofs, cuffs,)SINGULAR PLURALOne knife Two knivesOne shelf Two shelvesCASE 5The plural form of nouns that end is ‘-o’ is sometimes ‘-oes’ and sometimes ‘-os’.SINGULAR PLURALOne tomato Two tomatoesOne zoo Two zoosOne zero Two zeroes/zerosCASE 6Some nouns have irregular plural forms (note: the singular form of people can be person. Forexample one man and child = two people)SINGULAR PLURALOne child Two childrenOne foot Two feetOne goose Two geeseOne mouse Two mice 25
  26. 26. CASE 7The plural form of some nouns is the same as the singular form.SINGULAR PLURALOne deer Two deerOne fish Two fishOne species Two speciesCASE 8Some nouns that English has borrowed from other languages have foreign plural.SINGULAR PLURALOne crisis Two crisesOne bacterium Two bacteriaOne phenomenon Two phenomenaIn the Mandingo language, on the other hand, there is only one inflection use to indicate plural ofnouns. The plural is indicated by the suffixing the inflection ‘-lu’ to nouns.Below are some illustrated examples of Mandingo pluralSINGULAR ENGLISH ENGLISH EQUIVALENT PLURAL EQUIVALENTSaa Sheep Saalu Two sheepMusoo Woman Musoolu WomenLemunu Orange Lemunulu OrangesMuru Knife Murulu KnivesKɔni Key Kɔnilu KeysMɔnbili Car Mɔnbililu CarsDa Door Dalu DoorsBanaku Cassava BanakuluSambara Shoe Sambaralu Shoesjɛ Fish jɛlu Two fishDeni Child Denilu ChildrenTamati Tomato Tamatilu TomatoesFani Clothe Fanilu ClothesBaa Goat Baalu GoatsMansa Chief Mansalu Chiefs 26
  27. 27. Tasa Dish Tasalu Dishes Matralila Beggar Matralilalu Beggars Sife Chair Sifelu Chairs3.4 POSSESSSIVESThe possessive (or genitive) is the case which denotes the owner or possessor of a thing. Examples:daddy’s car; ladies’ bags; children’s toys etc. the possessive case is very important in languages.In the English language the possessive of noun is formed by an apostrophe ( ‘ ) and an “-s” or just theapostrophe ( ‘ ) in some case. These are used with nouns to show possession. Examples: (a) I know the student’s name. (singular) (b) I know the students’ names. (plural) (c) I know the children’s names. (plural) Notice the patterns: i. Singular possessive nouns are: noun + apostrophe ( ‘ ) + “-s” Examples: A man = A man’s name. My baby = my baby’s name. ii. Plural possessive noun are: noun + “-s” + apostrophe ( ‘ ) 27
  28. 28. iii. Example : My babies = my babies’ name. The students = the students’ name. iv. Irregular plural possessive nouns. noun + apostrophe ( ‘ ) + “-s” Examples: Men = Men’s names. The children = the children’s names.Unlike the English language, in the Mandingo language, the possessive in noun is not attested by anapostrophe ( ‘ ) + “-s” or just the apostrophe ( ‘ ). The Mandingo singular possessive in noun is attestedby the singular possessive noun Marker “la” or “ta” depending on the dialect.The following sentences illustrate the singular possessive in Mandingo nouns. 1. Mohamed la sɛnɛdiya ye miŋ? Mohamed/his/farmland/is/where (where is Mohamed’s farmland?) 2. Saran la boŋ ye miŋ? Saran/his/house/is/where (where is saran’s house?) 3. John la baradiya ye miŋ john/his/office/is/whose (where is john’s office?)Note: the above Mandingo singular possessive noun marker “la” is an auxiliary in the sentence not anaffixation like the English apostrophe ( ‘ ) + “-s”. .In the case of Mandingo plural possessive noun marker, this is indicated by the plural of the noun “-lu”and the possessive marker “-la”. 28
  29. 29. Below are illustrated examples of the Mandingo plural noun possessive case is a sentence. 1. Konatelu la boŋ ye miŋ konates/’s/house/are/where (where are the konate’s house?) 2. Dinilu la tolonfelu ye miŋ? Children/’s/toys/are/where (where are the children toys?) 3. Meŋlu ye keelu la fani dedi those/are/men/’s/clothes/there (those are men’s clothes?)For easy and clearer Mandingo sentence, the possessives are normally expressed by the followingpossessive pronouns and possessive adjectives.Possessive pronounsPERSON SINGULAR PLURALFirst person ŋtaa (mine) Ntaa (ours)Second person Itaa (yours) Altaa (yours)Third person Ataa (his/her/its) Altaa (thiers)Examples:Singular pluralŋtaa le (its mine) Ntaa le ( it’s ours)itaa le (it’s yours) itaa le (it’s yours)ataa le (it’s his/hers) altaa le (it’s theirs)Note: a possessive pronoun is used alone without a noun following it, as it is shown above.Possessive adjectivesPERSON SINGULAR PLURALFirst person Nna (my) Ana (our)Second person Ila (your) ila (your)Third person Ala (his/her/its) Alla (their)Examples: 29
  30. 30. Nna wɔdi (my money) ana bik (our pens)ila kee (your husband) ila keelu ( your husband’s)ala jida ( his/her water pot) alla bik (their pens)Note: a possessive adjective is used only with a noun following it, as shown above.4.5 ADJECTIVEThe word we use to describe people, place, and things are called adjectives. According to Glencoe: An adjective is a word that describes, or modifies, a noun or a pronoun Glencoe: Grammar and composition HandbookThe word “modifies” in the above definition of Glencoe means to change a little. An adjective give a littledifferent meaning to a noun. It describes or gives information about a noun. An adjective tells us something about a noun or a pronoun. Sheku kamara: English language key topicsAccording to this other definition we could deduce that an adjective can “tells us something about a nounor a pronoun” by limiting the meaning of the noun. This could be indicating what kind? Which one? Howmany? or how much?Examples: a) Round window b) Six oranges c) That hat d) Adult cat e) Romantic storyLike the English language, all other languages have words to describe a person and some other things,even though it may be attested in a way or form different from the English language. 30
  31. 31. In Mandingo, an adjective is also used to describe a noun and a pronoun, but the only thing is that, thereis a slight difference in position and some other aspect different from the English language.The following are some examples of Mandingo adjectives and how they are realized in Mandingo. Adjectives used 1) kɔrɔ (old) k ɛ k ɔr ɔ ( old man) man/old 2) fhiŋ (black) muso fhiŋ (dark woman) woman/black 3) gbɛ (fair) muso gb ɛ (fair woman) woman/fair 4) ba (big) boŋ ba (big house) house/big 5) fitini (small) kini fitini (small rice) rice/small 6) kuda (new) k ɛkuda ( new son) male/new 7) fadafhiŋ (African) fadafhiŋ muso (African woman) African/woman 8) kuduni ( short) muso kuduni (short woman) woman/short 9) jan (tall) k ɛ jan (tall man) man/tall 10) kalmia (warm/hot) ji kalima (hot water) water/hotFrom the above example data of the Mandingo adjective, it could be observed that the adjectives inMandingo are post-nominal attributive position, just like the Spanish and Arabic adjective and also infront of the noun they modify, in some case just like the English language.The similarity between the English language and the Mandingo language is that in both languagesadjectives are neither singular nor plural. An adjective do not have a plural form.Nouns can also be used as adjectives in Mandingo just like the English language. They tell what kind? Orwhich one, about the noun they modifies. 31
  32. 32. Examples: Adjectives (noun) used a) muso (woman) muso sambaralu (woman shoes) woman/shoes b) bolo (hand) bolola b ɔr ɔ (hand bag) hand/bag c) kɔɔ (salt) k ɔji (salt water) salty/water d) mɔnbili (car) mɔnbili k ɔŋi (car key) car/keyPossessive pronouns such as “our” and “his” can be considered as adjectives because they modify nounsin addition to their usual function as pronouns.Examples: 1) ana lɔkɔli (our school) 2) ala jida ( this water pot) 3) alla boŋ (his house) 4) nna wɔdi (my money)Similarly possessive nouns can be considered adjective in English but this is not so in Mandingo becausethe possessive nouns in Mandingo are attested differently from the way is done in English.3.6 DISCRIPTIVESDescriptive adjectives are the adjectives that describe a noun by indicating the quality and the quantity ofthe noun. Examples: sad story, ugly Betty, interesting book, enough cups and many ideas. 32
  33. 33. Illustrated examples of descriptive adjectives in Mandingo are below. 1) Keŋi (beautiful) ŋ keŋi = I am beautiful /i/beautiful/ 2) Ba (big) alla boŋ ba = his big house his/house/big/ alla boŋ ka bon = his house is big /his/house/is/big/ 3) dɔman (small) musa la kini dɔman = musa rice is small. /musa/’s/rice/small/ 4) Kaŋi (nice) boŋ kaŋi = nice house /house/nice/ 5) Ju (bad) kɛju = bad man /man/bad/ sun ju = bad habit /habit/bad 6) Ŋuma (fine) sun ŋuma = good habit. /habit/good/ 3.7 DEMONSTRATIVES Basically, demonstrative adjective are demonstrative pronouns used as adjectives just as the way a noun can be used as an adjective to modify a noun by pointing out the specific person or thing and showing his or its position or location and at the same time, it or his singular or plural status. Neŋ = this Meŋ = that 33
  34. 34. Examples: 1) kɛ neŋ = this man 2) muso meŋ keŋi = that woman is beautiful 3) wɔdi neŋ ta = take this money 4) den meŋ gbasi = beat that childAs mentioned earlier, demonstrative locates or show position whether proximal or distal from the speakeror context of the situation.3.8 COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVESAn adjective can also be comparative and superlative. The comparative form of an adjective indicates thegreater extent to which the normal form of the adjective applies, whilst the superlative form indicate themaximal extent.In another sense comparative make it comparison between two people or things whiles on the hand thesuperlative one part of a whole group as against the rest of the group.Below are illustrated examples of comparative and superlative.Normal form comparative form superlative formGreat Greater GreatestFull Fuller FullestGood Better BestFrom the above examples it is clear that English has a specific suffix marker for the comparative and thesuperlative forms, except on exceptional irregular form.In Mandingo adjective do not have a suffix marker to indicate the comparative form or the superlativeform. What is used in Mandingo is the word “ta + di”or just “di” which means more than, for thecomparative marker, and “bɛ +di” which means pass all or than all, for the superlative marker.3.8.1 COMPARATIVE FORMTa + di = more thanExamples: 34
  35. 35. 1. saran dɔma marie di saran/small/marie/than (saran is smaller than marie) 2. ala mɔnbili kaŋi musa ta di his/car/good/musa/more/than (his car is more beautiful than musa’s) 3. ŋ deŋkɛ karani ata di i/son/educated/his/more/than (my son is more educated than his) 4. ala kogbɛlɛlan ŋ ta di his/difficult/i/more/than (he is more difficult than I am)3.8.2 SUPERLATIVE FORMbɛ + di = pass all.or this oneal +bɛ + di = pass all.Examples: 1. ŋ dɔma al bɛ di i/small/pass all (I am the smallest) 2. a keŋi al bɛ di he/beautiful/pass all (he is the most beautiful) 3. ali juma al bɛ di ali/worst/pass all (ali is the worst) 35
  36. 36. 4. sheku karani bɛ di sheku/educated/pass all (shehu is the most educated)Note: “bɛ di”in the above examples could be understand as the short form or contracted form of theMandingo superlative marker “al bɛ di”Also in Mandingo the superlative form can equally be expressed with the use of the absolute form ofadjective “tamini” which literally means the best or the highest degree of something and the superlativemarker “bɛ di”Examples: 1. hussain bolt tamini borila bɛ di (hussain bolt is the fastest runner) 2. saran la taa de tamini bɛ di (saran’s child is the best) 36
  37. 37. CHAPTER FOUR VERBS (MAIN) AND ADVERBS4.1 MAIN VERBA verb is a word that expresses action (walk, talk, read) or a state of being (be, exist, and stand) and isnecessary to make a statement. In most languages, verbs are inflected to encode tense, aspect, mood andvoice. A verb may also agree with the person, gender and number of some of it argument, such as itssubject and object.A verb in Mandingo tells what a noun or a pronoun does in a sentence. The actions or activities of personsor things are made known through the use of verbs.Below are examples of some Mandingo verbs and how they are used in a sentence. 1) Tama (walk): Abu tama ta karandiya loŋ-o-loŋ Abu/works/to/school/everyday (Abu walks to school every day) Fanta tamara karandiya kunuŋ. Fanta/walked/to school/yesterday (Fanta walked to school yesterday) 37
  38. 38. Ali di tama karandiya sini ali/will/walk/to school/tomorrow (Ali will walk to school tomorrow) 2) Bara (work): ŋ bara la bakɛ i/work/ very hard/ (I work very hard) Al barala bakɛ kunuŋ. They/worked/a lot/yesterday/ (they worked a lot yesterday) Al di bara bakɛ sini they/will/work/a lot/tomorrow/ (they will work a lot tomorrow)With close examination of the above Mandingo examples, the Mandingo language unlike the Englishlanguage does not have any subject verb agreement. That is to say, there is no agreement between theMandingo verbs and the subject in terms of singular or plural, or agreement on number or persons.3.2 TENSEThe primary characteristic of verb is its ability to express time by means of tense. Tense is a grammaticalexpression of time reference. The idea of time is frequently perceived as a continuum of three maincategories or division –past, present and the future.Depending on the language, a verb may express grammatical tense by the use of auxiliary verbs orinflections to convey whether the action or state is before (past), simultaneous with (present) or aftersome reference point (future). The reference point could be the time of utterance, in which case the verbexpresses absolute tense, or it could be a past, present, or future time of reference previously establishedin sentence, in which case the verb expresses relative tense.In Mandingo, the concept of time, even though expresses by the verb and its auxiliary or just the mainverb, it is sometime only made crystal clear by the time adverbials such as, the list below. Ten-ten (just now) Siseŋ (now) Sɔnyima (earlier today) 38
  39. 39. Keleŋ keleŋ (occasionally/once in a while) Loŋ-o-loŋ (every day) Kunuŋ (yesterday) Bii (today) Sini (tomorrow) Kunaŋ siniŋ (day before yesterday) A bara miŋThe illustrated examples below would explain the concept further. Observe the illustrated examples forconfirmation. 1. ŋ wara bii i/go/today (I go today) 2. ŋ wara kunuŋ i/went/yesterday/ (I went yesterday) 3. ŋ wara yeŋ siseŋ /I/went/there/awhile ago/ (I went there awhile ago) 4. ŋ di wa sini I/will/go/tomorrow/ (I will go tomorrow)Note: the above verb “wara” is used not only for present but also for the past tense. So in that sense thetense is only made clear by the time adverbials or the context in which the verb is use. 4.3 PRESENT TENSEThe simple present expresses daily habits or usually activities, general statement or fact, and the used forevent or situation that exist always.Examples are: 39
  40. 40. 1. David takes shower every day. 2. The earth revolves around the sun. 3. The sky is blue. 4. Babies cry.In English the simple present tense may be formed by the inflection plural “-s”, depending on the subjectand verb agreement. If the subject is singular the verb takes the plural “-s”, and if the subject is plural thesingular verb is use to expressed the simple present tense.Unlike English, the Mandingo language do not have subject and verb agreement so the simple presenttense is form with just the verb (unmarked) and sometime with the time adverbial.Below are illustrated examples of the simple present tense.THE SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE 1. Musa tama karandiya lombɛ musa/walks/to school/everyday/ (musa walks to school every day) 2. Fanta ye barala lombɛ Fanta/is/works/everyday/ (Fanta works everyday) 3. Al wara he or she/goes/ (he/she goes)4.4 PAST TENSEThe simple past is used to talk about activities or situations that began and ended in the past. In Englishmost simple past verbs are formed by adding “-ed” to the verb, as in (a) and (b) below. A. Abu worked downtown yesterday B. Our car arrived on time. 40
  41. 41. And some have irregular past forms, as in (c) and (d) below. C. She ate breakfast this morning. D. Marie took a taxi to the airport.In Mandingo, most simple past verb tens is formed by suffixing “-ra” on the main verb. This is illustratedbelow. 1. Abu tamara karandiya kunuŋ /abu/walked/to school/yesterday/ (abu walked to school yesterday) 2. A nara watidɔ he/came/very long time ago/ (he came very long time ago) 3. Ali borira kunuŋ ali/ran/yesterday/ (ali ran yesterday)However not all verbs in Mandingo follow the above illustration, that is to say, the “-ra” suffix to formtheir past form. For examples: A. Ten ten de a tambida just now/he/passed/ (he passed her just now) B. Ba (to finish) bana (finished) C. John ka damonikɛ kunuŋ /john/ate/yesterday/ (john ate yesterday)The above examples of the past tense used the suffix”-da”, “-na”and the ‘ka” auxiliary working with the“-kɛ” suffix to indicate the past tense because of dialectal variation and irregular verb forms.4.5 FUTURE TENSE 41
  42. 42. On the time line, future locates a situation or even t subsequent to the present moment. In English, thefuture tense is formed by the auxiliary verb will/shall or the verb phrase “be going to” as in the followingexamples: A. I am going to leave at nine tomorrow morning. B. I will leave at nine tomorrow morning. C. I shall leave at nine tomorrow morning.In Mandingo, the future tense is equally straight forward but more fixed than the English language’sfuture tense. The future tense in Mandingo is expressed by a fixed auxiliary verb “di” which means will,and thus, no controversy of interchanging with an alternative.Below are illustrated examples of sentences of the Mandingo future tense. 1. A di na he/she/will come/ (he/she will come.) 2. Deŋninlu di wa lɔkɔlila children/will/go/school to/ (the children will go to school.) 3. A di wa lɔkɔlila he/she/will walk school to/ (he/she will walk to school.)4.6 ADVERBAn adverb is any word that modifies verbs or any part of speech other than a noun (modifiers of nouns areprimarily adjectives and determiners). Adverbs can modify verbs, adjectives including numbers), clauses,sentences, and other adverbs.The above explanation is supported by Bas Aarts in his book: English syntax and argumentation (2001) 42
  43. 43. Adverbs modify verbs adjective or other adverbs.Adverbs are words like slowly, tomorrow, now, suddenly and etc. adverbs provide information about themanner, place, or circumstances of the activity denoted by the verb phrase.Examples: 1. She walked slowly. (Here the adverb slowly provides information about the manner in which she walked) 2. The kids are playing upstairs. (Here the adverb upstairs provides information about the place of activity.)In Mandingo, adverbs are modifiers. They modify verbs in sentences. They explain and describe theaction in a construction.Below are some illustrated examples of Mandingo adverbs and how they are used in a sentence. 1. Bii (today): ŋ din a bii /I/will/come/today/ (I will come today) 2. Dafɛ (near): a sini dafɛ /he/sitting/near/ (he is sitting near me.) 3. Lododon (sometimes): lododon a di na /sometimes/he/will/come/ (he comes sometimes.) 4. Sanfɛ (up): kɛ ye yiri sanfɛ /man/is/tree/up/ (the man is up the tree.) 43
  44. 44. 5. kunuŋ (yesterday): a wara sɛnɛdɔ kunuŋ he/she/went/the farmland/yesterday (he/she went to the farmland yesterday)4.7 POSITIONAdverbs are the most mobile element in a sentence construction. However the most common position ofadverbs in Mandingo is at the end of a sentence. Adverbs in Mandingo take the final position. Below areillustrated examples of Mandingo adverbs at sentence final positions. 1. Sini (tomorrow): ŋ di wa sini I/will/go/there/tomorrow (I will go there tomorrow) 2. Teledɔ (afternoon): ŋ di wa a bada teledɔ I/will/go/you/place/afternoon (I will go to your place in the afternoon) 3. lombɛ (usually); ŋ wala karandiya lombɛ I/ go/ school/ usually (I usually go to school)However, this is not constant as in other cases, it could be unpredictable. That is to say, it could takedifferent positions within a given syntactic construction, as illustrated below. 1. Sini (tomorrow) sini ŋ di wa Tomorrow/i/will/go (I will go tomorrow) 2. Sumamani(quietly) ama sumamani sini 44
  45. 45. He/is/quietly/sitting (He is quietly sitting) 3. Londodɔ (sometimes) londodɔ a di na Sometimes/he/will/come (He comes sometimes)4.8 TYPESThere are many kinds of adverbs in Mandingo. Below are some adverbs in Mandingo.ADVERBS OF MANNER IN MANDINGO 1. Jona( quickly) damuni kɛ jona Eat/quickly (Eat quickly) 2. Aŋumala(beautifully): a di donkilila aŋumala He/can/sing/beautifully (He can sing beautifully) 3. kaliya (fastly): a la kaliya Do/it/fastly (Do it fastly) 4. Sumamani (quietly): ama sumamani sini He/is/quietly/sitting (He is sitting quietly) 45
  46. 46. ADVERBS OF TIME IN MANDINGO1. Sini (tomorrow): sini ŋ di wa Tomorrow/I/will/go (I will go tomorrow)2. Kunu(yesterday): aŋ wara yen kunu We/went/there/yesterday (We went there yesterday)3. Siseŋ (now): ŋ di wa siseŋ I/will/go/now (I will go now)4. Bi(today): a kɛ bi Do/it/today Do it today ADVERBS OF PLACE IN MANDINGO1. Dafɛ (near): a sini ŋ dafɛ He/sitting/near (He is sitting near me)2. Jan (afar) a ka jan na He/afar/me (He is a far from me)3. Sanfɛ (up) kɛ ye yiri sanfɛ Man/is/tree/up 46
  47. 47. (The man is up the tree) 4. Dula (down) muso ye dula Woman/is/down (The woman is down)ADVERBS OF FREQUENCY IN MANDINGO1. Londodɔ (sometimes) londodɔ a di na Sometimes/he/will/comes (He comes sometime)2. Abadan (never) a ma damuni kɛ Abadan He/ate/never (He never ate) 4. lombɛ (usually/always) ŋ di wa karandiya lombɛ I/go /to/school/usually/always (I always go to school) CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS5.1 SUMMARYThis chapter sheds light on the number of chapters the work contains and what each chapter discusses. Itgoes on to discuss the findings made in the study Mandingo of lexical items. It also concludes the workand makes recommendations based on the findings made.This dissertation examined the lexical items in the Mandingo language. The entire dissertation wasdivided into five chapters.CHAPTER ONE 47
  48. 48. This basically constituted the introduction to the study. The introduction gave the general background tothe study and the reasons for undertaking such study. It went on to explain the scope of the study, theobjectives of the study, the hypothesis, the research methodology, limitations of the proposedmethodology, motives of the study, historical background of the Mandingo, the life of the Mandingo, Italso looked at the Mandingo language by illustrating the Mandingo orthography, which is made up of 7Vowels, 16 consonants, and 4 diphthongs.CHAPTER TWOThis chapter reviewed some literatures available on the subject understudy. Topics reviewed are lexicalitem and the open class category. In the review some propositions, assertions, and postulations weresupported, agreed with, or partially agreed with by the researcher. In this chapter the researcher putforward his argument for supporting and partially disagreeing with the various authors. The worksreviewed were those of Carson Berndsen (1993), R. D. Huddleston: (1984), Wallwork J.F(1985:68), R.H. Robin (1989:214), Joe Pemagbei (1997:6), George Yule (1985:19) and Ur,Penny (1988:21).CHAPTER THREEThis chapter entailed an examined nouns and adjectives in Mandingo. In the case of nouns specificattention was given to nouns generally, noun classes, plural case, and possessives. And on the other hand,adjectives were looked at from descriptive, demonstrative, comparative and superlative point of view.From analyses of this chapter, it was discovered that nouns in Mandingo have classes, the nounpossessive is formed by the noun plural and the suffix “-la”, and also noun plural is only formed by thesuffix”-lu”. Also from analyses of this chapter it was made to understand that in Mandingo, thecomparative and superlative adjectives are not expressed by affixation like the English language butrather by the words better than (ta di) and pass all (b ɛ di).CHAPTER FOURThis chapter dealt with main verbs in Mandingo with specific attention to tense, present, past, and thefuture tense. This chapter also looked at adverbs in Mandingo with specific consideration to position andtypes of Mandingo adverbs.CHAPTER FIVEThis chapter summarized and concluded the word. The conclusion was followed by recommendationswhich were in turn followed by a bibliography. 48
  49. 49. 5.2 RECOMMENDATIONThe major focus of this research is based on the lexical items in the Mandingo language. Mandingo, ifgiven the necessary attention could be the official regional local language because it is widely spoke inWest Africa, almost all West African countries have members of the Mandingo ethnic group. Theresearcher therefore recommends that more research on the language be undertaken in bid to promotemother tongue literacy in the country and to continue the emphasis of the language and it possibility tobecome official regional local language.Based on the importance of the language stated above, the researcher also recommends that thegovernment of Sierra Leone should give more funds and encourage language planners to give attention tothe language.And generally, the researcher recommends that, native speakers, the language studies department,especially the linguistic unit and the government of Sierra Leone should give more attention to locallanguages especially the Mandingo language because of its wide spoken factor in the sub-region. BIBLOGRAPHY 1. Aarts Bas English syntax and argumentation (2001) Palgrave Macmillan, united kingdom 2. Alie J.A.D. (1990) Anew History of Sierra Leone Macmillan Publisher 3. Azar Betty Schrampfer (1992) Fundamentals of English Grammar – 2nd Ed Printice- Hall, Inc, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 4. Berndsen carson (1993) structural semiotics internet. 49
  50. 50. 5. Best Wilfred D (1990) The Students’ companion Long man group UK Ltd6. Britannica Dictionary (2011) website7. Delfosse Maurice (1901) Essai de Manuel Practique de la Langue Mande8. Delafosse Murice (1904) Vocabularie Comparatifs de plus De 60 langue et Dialects Parle a la Lêted Voire Press universite de Lyon9. Encyclopedia Britannica (2011) Website10. Glencoe (2002) Grammar and Composition Handbook McCray – Hill, New York11. Hall R.A. Jr. (1950) Linguistic and Your language Doubleday company Inc, New York.12. Huddleston .R.D. (1984) A students’ introduction to English13. Internet Grammar of English (2011) The survey of English usage 1996- 1998 supported by Ring john online Marketing UK website.14. Johnson .V.G.(2010) (dissertation unpublished) An examination of open words in Mende and loko Fourah Bay college15. Kamara .M.S. (2008) (Dissertation unpublished) An examination of language 50
  51. 51. system in Mandingo Fourah Bay college16. Kamara Sheku: English language key topics apex educational center.17. Kirkpartrick .B. (2009) Better English Scotland: Geddes and Grossed18. Macmillan English Thinking and writing process Macmillan publish inc19. Pemagbei .J. (1971) An orthography of Mende language government printing. Freetown20. Robin .R.H (1971) General linguistics An introductory survey (2nd edition) Longman Group Limited21. Tejan .M.H. (1994) (seminar paper unpublished) word formation in Mandingo Fourah Bay college22. Ur, penny (1988:21) grammar practice activities a practical guide for teachers Cambridge university press23. Wallwork .J.F. (1985) Language and linguistics an introduction to the Study of language Heinemann Educational books London.24. Wardaugh Roland (1972) Introduction to linguistics McGraw – hill Inc25. Wikipedia (2011) website 51
  52. 52. 26. Yule G (1985) the study of language Cambridge university press, UK. 52