[aka Banjaal, Banjal,]

Classification: Niger-Congo




Ken Safir and Mamadou Bassene, Stem Structure in Eegimaa, SOAS, University of London

You can find out more about studying Linguistics at SOAS, University of London at This seminar titled "Stem Structure in Eegimaa: How Compositional is Agglutinative Morphology?" was given by Ken Safir and Mamadou Bassene (Rutgers University) as part of the Linguistics Department Seminar Series at SOAS, University of London on 19 March 2014. The agglutinative morphology of verb stems poses many problems for theory and analysis, insofar as distinct theoretical commitments as to what counts as a linguistic unit do not always align. The verb stem morphology of Joola-Eegimaa (Eegimaa, henceforth), an Atlantic language (Bak subfamily) of the Niger-Congo family, poses just such a challenge. We argue that an abstract analysis of the underlying syntax of Eegimaa verb stems permits the various demands of syntax, semantics and morphology to receive a unified analysis for which there is some striking empirical support. We will then show that our analysis, which relies on several operations that rearrange the structure of the stem, not only provide a revealing window into the vexing morpho-syntactic complexities of Eegimaa, but may well shed light on the morphology of of Bantu languages, which are distant relatives of Eegimaa in both time and geography. If our analysis and the implications we draw from it are valid, then there are theoretical consequences for the role of syntax in morphology and for compositional and de-compositional analyses of the verbal spine. You can find out more about this event at


University of London; Rutgers University

Jan. 1, 2014