A Grammar of Pichi

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Kofi Yakpo. With at least 70, speakers, Pichi is the second most widely spoken African language of the country. At the same time, contact with Spanish, the colonial and official language of Equatorial Guinea, has made a significant impact on the lexicon and grammar of Pichi.

This first comprehensive description of Pichi is based on extensive fieldwork in Equatorial Guinea. It presents a detailed analysis of the phonology, morphology and syntax of the language and addresses language contact between Pichi and Spanish. The annexes contain a collection of interlinearised and annotated texts as well as Pichi-English-Pichi vocabulary lists.

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Pichi has seven a vowel system and twenty-two consonant phonemes. The language features a mixed prosodic system which employs both pitch-accent and tone.

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The morphological structure of Pichi is largely isolating. It also includes a collection of texts and wordlists.


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Pichi features a nominative-accusative alignment, SVO word order, adjective-noun order, prenominal determiners, and prepositions. The language has a seven-vowel system and twenty-two consonant phonemes.

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Grammar of Pichi | Verb | Syntax

Pichi has a two-tone system with tonal minimal pairs, morphological tone, and tonal processes. The morphological structure is largely isolating. Pichi has a rich system of tense-aspect-mood marking, an indicative-subjunctive opposition, and a complex copular system with several suppletive forms. Many features align Pichi with the Atlantic-Congo languages spoken in the West African littoral zone.

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At the same time, characteristics like the prenominal position of adjectives and determiners show a typological overlap with its lexifier English, while extensive contact with Spanish has left an imprint on the lexicon and grammar as well. He has conducted and led research on the grammar, phonology, areal typology, and sociopolitical dynamics of contact languages with a focus on the English-lexifier creoles of Africa and the Americas, as well as the Asian diaspora languages of the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

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