Animacy in Nkami

  • Krobea Rogers Asante
  • George Akanlig-Pare Department of Linguistics University of Ghana, Legon
Keywords: animacy, nominal affixes, pronouns, dispositional verbs, neutralization


Drawing from a large corpus of synchronic natural data, this paper provides a detailed descriptive account of animacy distinctions in Nkami, an endangered Ghanaian language, spoken in the Afram Plains of Ghana. It demonstrates the remarkable linguistic resources that speakers employ to distinguish animates from inanimates, to a large extent, and humans from non-humans, to a lesser extent. The phenomenon is ubiquitous in forms and behaviours of pronouns, demonstratives, nominal affixes, nominal modifiers, dispositional verbs in basic locative constructions, inter alia. Some cases of animacy neutralization are also discussed.

Author Biography

George Akanlig-Pare, Department of Linguistics University of Ghana, Legon
George Akanlig-Pare has been a teacher of linguistics at the University of Ghana, Legon for almost two decades now. His research interests are phonetics and phonology of Buli, Ghanaian sign language(s) and the relationship between language and law.


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