Shaping the word structure by iambic foot in Migama

Bartosz Kurzyca

Abstract


The following paper analyzes the role of metrical structure in shaping the East Chadic B language, Migama. Specifically, it will be argued that, similarly to Hausa, while having no overt influence on the language's tone distribution, iambic foot serves as a crucial factor in determining its morphology. The study concentrates on the most characteristic traits of iambicity found in Migama verbs, sensitive to metrical structure in unequal way: it will be demonstrated that verbs in imperfective aspect surface on an iambically parsed template while perfective forms are subject to phonotactic requirements, which results in their opaque structure. Finally, vowel harmony will be shown to mark the boundaries of iambic foot in both categories of verbs.


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