Chakali language

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Chakali
RegionGhana
Native speakers
6,000 (2003)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3cli
Glottologchak1271[2]

Chakali is a Gur language of Ghana, spoken in several villages in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region. The majority of Chakali are bilingual in Wali[3].

Chakali speaking villages in Ghana: Gurumbele, Motigu, Sogla, Tuosa, Tiisa and Katua

Phonology[edit]

Chakali phonology is typical of Gur languages, with tone, vowel harmony, and labial–velar consonant

Vowels[edit]

Chakali contrasts long and short vowels, as well as advanced and retracted tongue root vowels, which play a role in vowel harmony. While typically treated as a "neutral" vowel for tongue root harmony, /a/ might surface as [ɑ] following -ATR vowels, but this is not phonemic. Additionally, [ə] arises during epenthesis or vowel reduction.

Front Back
Unrounded Rounded
−ATR +ATR −ATR +ATR
Close ɪ i ʊ u
Mid ɛ e ɔ o
Open a

All phonemic vowels can also appear nasalized, which is often due to the influence of a neighboring nasal consonant or glottal fricative. Nasal vowels do occur phonemically in certain words[3], as demonstrated by near-minimal or minimal pairs:

  • /zʊ̀ʊ̀/ 'enter', /zʊ̃̀ʊ̃̀/ 'laziness'
  • /fáà/ 'ancient', /fã̀ã̀/ 'do by force'
  • /tùù/ 'go down', /tṹṹ/ 'honey'

Consonants[edit]

  Labial Alveolar Postalveolar/
Palatal
Velar Glottal
plain labial
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ ŋ͡m  
Stop p  b t  d t͡ʃ  d͡ʒ k  ɡ k͡p  ɡ͡b ʔ
Fricative f  v s  z       h
Approximant   l j   w  
Rhotic   r~ɾ        
  • /t/ surfaces as [r] in word-final or word-medial onset position.[3]
  • /k/ and /g/ usually surface as [ɣ] between vowels.[3]
  • All nasals are realized as [ŋ] in word-final position.[3]

Grammar[edit]

Chakali is a subject–verb–object language.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chakali at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Chakali". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c d e Brindle, Jonathan. 2017. A dictionary and grammatical outline of Chakali. Berlin: Language Science Press. ISBN 978-3-944675-91-6 DOI 10.5281/zenodo.344813. Open Access