By G. Tucker Childs
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Additional resources for A Grammar of Mani
The nasal vowel is perceived there because of the heavy air flow from the glottal fricative, providing the same kind of "zeroes" or damping associated with nasalized sounds (Ohala 1975) in a phenomenon learnedly but limitedly known as "rhinoglottophilia" (Matiso:ff 1975). A similar phenomenon is found in the closely related languages Sherbro (Hanson 1979), Kisi, Born and Kim. Thus, the h/ny alternation is not so surprising as it would seem at first glance, particularly with palatal vowels in the vicinity.
Nonetheless, there is some deep-seated and even fierce attachment to the language. An old man in Moribaya, Sierra Leone, said the Soso liked to argue overmuch; they were hardheaded and stubborn people (tontUbuliya). He refused to speak Soso with anyone and would reply in Mani even if spoken to in Soso. (This individual was very much like an individual in Nancy Dorian's fieldwork, who would also reply in Gaelic when spoken to in English (Dorian 1973:437-38). In Caton (Guinea), the research base for the 2004-06 project, we made some recordings of songs sung by women and a folk tale.
With regard to movement rules, a focus construction fronts an item of focus and marks the focused item with a following element, usually a pronoun. Yes/no questions require a final marker; Q-word questions do not. In the latter type of question, the question word appears at the beginning of the question with a gap in the place where the questioned element would appear. Other sentence types are marked by intonation with no movement. Relative clauses are introduced by a pronoun and end with a relativization marker.
A Grammar of Mani by G. Tucker Childs