Toposa language

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Toposa
Toposa–Jiye
Native to South Sudan
Region Eastern Africa
Ethnicity Toposa
Native speakers
100,000  (2000)[1]
none
Language codes
ISO 639-3 toq
Glottolog topo1242[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Toposa (also Akara, Kare, Kumi, Taposa, Topotha) is a Nilo-Saharan language (Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic) spoken in South Sudan by the Toposa people. Mutually intelligible language varieties include Jiye of South Sudan, Nyangatom of Ethiopia, Karimojong, Jie[3] and Dodos of Uganda and Turkana of Kenya. Teso (spoken in both Kenya and Uganda) is lexically more distant.

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Plosive Voiceless p t k
Voiced b d ɡ
Affricate Voiceless t͡ʃ
Voiced d͡ʒ
Fricative s
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Flap r
Approximant w l j
  • All consonants (except, of course, for /w/ and /j/) can occur in labialized and palatalized forms.

Vowels[edit]

+ATR

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open

-ATR

Front Central Back
Close ɪ ʊ
Mid ɛ ɔ
Open a
  • Toposa, like many Nilotic languages, has vowel harmony with two sets of vowels: a set with the tongue root advanced (+ATR) and a −ATR set. +ATR is marked. The vowel /a/ is neutral with respect to vowel harmony.[4]
  • All nine vowels also occur as devoiced, contrasting with their voiced counterparts. These voiceless vowels occur primarily in prepause contexts. Some Toposa morphemes consist only of a high voiceless vowel; the functional load appears to be much greater with the high vowels than with the lower.[5]
  • Toposa has tone, which is grammatical rather than lexical. Tone is used to mark case in nouns and tense in verbs.

Bibliography[edit]

Schröder, Martin C. (1989). "The Toposa Verb in Narrative Structure". Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 20: 129–142. 

Schröder, Martin C.; Helga Schröder (1987a). "Voiceless Vowels in Toposa". Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 12: 17–26. 

Schröder, Martin C.; Helga Schröder (1987b). "Vowel Harmony in Toposa". Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 12: 27–36. 


References[edit]

  1. ^ Toposa at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Toposa". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Jiye and Jie are the same name, but refer to different varieties
  4. ^ Schröder & Schröder 1987b, p. 27
  5. ^ Schröder & Schröder 1987a, p. 17