A Grammar of Mani by G. Tucker Childs

By G. Tucker Childs

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Closely related to Mani within the Mel sub-group is Kisi, a language spoken primarily in the Forest Region of Guinea but spilling over into both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Kisi was separated from the other Bulom languages in historical times, during the 16111 century Mane invasions (Rodney 1967; Rodney 1970) when the Kisi fled into the rain forest. 5. Historical background 11 Other sub-groups within Mel are 1) Temne and the Baga languages, also spoken along the Sierra Leone and Guinea coasts; and 2) Gola, a single language spoken in the forest region straddling the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia (see Map 1).

T5k 'tree' d5kal 'cultivate' vs. d5k6l 'bind' /~/ vs. /a/: t~k 'stwnp' vs. tak 'split' coo 'two' vs. can 'tooth' lui vs. /o/: bid 'one' vs. b6l 'head' pul 'ashes' vs. pol 'light' /o/vs. /"/: ko 'to' vs. k~ 'go' t6n 'few' vs. t5n 'bathe' /"/ vs. /a/: c6l 'night' vs. cal 'sit' t6n 'bathe' vs. tan 'rise' Generally speaking, the two highest vowels, front and back, are likely to be confused with each other because of their proximity in the acoustico-perceptual space. 11 Both (/e/ and /o/) are closer than their cardinal counterparts and were often confused with /if and lui.

D. Camara, Language Consultant. Two research sites were established, one in Caton, Guinea, and a satellite site in Moribaya, Sierra Leone. Field activities focused on the documentation of the language and occurred over the period July 2004 through October 2006. Documentation took a number of different forms, all of which have been housed in portable form at SOAS, at the author's home institution (Portland State University), and the Universities of Conakry and Sierra Leone. The linguistic data is organized into data bases consisting of a lexicon, concordance, and texts.

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