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
 1.1  Overview
 1.2  The Lopit People
 1.3  The Lopit Language
 1.4  Approaches to Documenting Lopit

2 Phonology
 2.1  Introduction
 2.2  Consonants
 2.3  Vowels
 2.4  Tone
 2.5  Phonotactics
 2.6  Orthography

3 Word Classes
 3.1  Introduction
 3.2  Open Word Classes
 3.3  Other Word Classes

4 The Noun Phrase
 4.1  Introduction
 4.2  Gender
 4.3  Number
 4.4  Case Inflections Marked on the Noun Phrase
 4.5  Verbal Nominalisation
 4.6  Nominal Specifiers and Modifiers
 4.7  Prepositional Phrases
 4.8  Constituent Order in the Noun Phrase

5 The Verb: Overview
 5.1  Introduction
 5.2  Key Features of the Verb
 5.3  Subject and Object Marking
 5.4  Verb Derivational Marking

6 Aspect and Modality
 6.1  Introduction
 6.2  Temporal Reference
 6.3  Aspect
 6.4  Modality
 6.5  Imperatives and Hortatives

7 Basic Sentence Structure
 7.1  Introduction
 7.2  Word Order of the Simple Sentence
 7.3  Grammatical Relations and Case Systems
 7.4  Transitivity and Valency
 7.5  Reflexives and Reciprocals
 7.6  Predicate Nominals and Related Constructions
 7.7  Interrogative
 7.8  Negation

8 Property Concepts and Adverbial Notions
 8.1  Introduction
 8.2  Property Concepts
 8.3  Adverbial Notions

9 Clause Combining Constructions
 9.1  Introduction
 9.2  Coordinating Clauses
 9.3  Comitative Coordination and Inclusory Constructions
 9.4  Complement Clauses and Complementation
 9.5  Relative Clauses
 9.6  Adverbial Clauses
 9.7  Conditional Clauses

Appendix 1: Swadesh List for Lopit
Appendix 2: Lopit Narratives
Appendix 3: Data Citation for Chapter 2 (Phonology)
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.