A Grammar of Lopit

An Eastern Nilotic Language of South Sudan


In A Grammar of Lopit, Jonathan Moodie and Rosey Billington provide the first detailed description of Lopit, an Eastern Nilotic language traditionally spoken in the Lopit Mountains in South Sudan. Drawing on extensive primary data, the authors describe the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the Lopit language. Their analyses offer new insights into phenomena characteristic of Nilo-Saharan languages, such as ‘Advanced Tongue Root’ vowel distinctions, tripartitite number marking, and marked-nominative case systems, and they uncover patterns which are previously unattested within the Eastern Nilotic family, such as a three-way contrast in aspect, number marking with the ‘greater singular’, and two kinds of inclusory constructions. This book offers a significant contribution to the descriptive and typological literature on African languages.

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Jonathan Moodie is a research associate at The University of Melbourne (Ph.D., 2019). His primary research interest is the documentation and description of Eastern Nilotic languages, focusing on the Lopit and Lokoya languages of South Sudan.

Rosey Billington is a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Melbourne (Ph.D., 2017). Her primary research interest is the intersection of experimental phonetics and language documentation, with a focus on phonetic and phonological analyses of Nilotic and Oceanic languages.
List of Figures and Tables

1 Introduction
 1 Historical Involvement of Women in Crime in Early Modern Europe
 2 Crime and Gender in an Early Modern Italian City
 3 Criminal Court Records as Sources for Social History
 4 Composition of This Book

2 Women’s Roles, Institutions, and Social Control
 1 Political and Demographic Developments
 2 Household Structures, Property Rights and Legal Capacity
 3 Women within the Urban Economy
 4 Interlocking Systems of Assistance and Control
 5 Conclusion: Agency within a Culture of Constraint

3 The Torroneand the Prosecution of Crimes
 1 The Tribunale del Torrone within Bologna’s Legal Landscape
 2 The Administration of Criminal Justice
 3 Criminal Procedures
 4 Italian Women’s Involvement in Recorded Crime
 5 The Character of Indicted Crime in Bologna
 6 Gender Dynamics in the Sentencing of Crimes
 7 Conclusion: Distinguishing Features of Women’s Prosecution

4 Denunciations and the Uses of Justice
 1 Women and the Uses of Justice
 2 Denunciations before the Torrone
 3 The Torrone as a Forum for Conflict Resolution
 4 The Urban Context of Women’s Litigation
 5 The Users of Justice
 6 Objectives of Litigation
 7 Conclusion: Criminal Litigation, Gender and Agency

5 Violence and the Politics of Everyday Life
 1 The Culture of Violence between Prosecution and Reconciliation
 2 Lethal Violence in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
 3 Insults and the Politics of Daily Life
 4 The Importance of Petty Physical Violence
 5 Severity and Weapons
 6 Violence and Social Relations
 7 The Gendered Geography of Violence
 8 Framing Men’s and Women’s Violence
 9 Conclusion: Everyday Violence and the Uses of Justice

6 Theft and Its Prosecution
 1 Legal Attitudes towards Theft
 2 Prosecution and Sentencing
 3 The Social Profile of Thieves and Economies of Makeshift
 4 Stolen Goods
 5 The Geographies of Theft
 6 The Distribution of Stolen Goods
 7 Conclusion: Judicial Paternalism and Women’s Roles in Thieving

7 Conclusion
 1 The Case of Bologna and Patterns of Female Crime
 2 The Impact of Institutionalisation, Judicial Paternalism and Peacemaking Practices
 3 Crime and Italian Women’s Agency
 4 Avenues for Future Research

Appendix: Information on Samples
This book will be of interest to linguistic researchers engaged in documentary, descriptive, typological and diachronic studies of Nilotic, Nilo-Saharan and African languages, and members of the Lopit community.
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