Discussion of "Manding Sound Correspondences"

Looks great! I’ll update it with the Mandinka later as best I can. Do you have another example for the w / ŋ sound? I don’t know the word for fritter/galette in Mandinka. Is gbɛlɛn cognate with koliyaa?

I also don’t know the gb / w sound change, as the Mandinka word for ‘other’/‘another’/‘some’ is ‘do’ which I don’t think is a cognate. Any other examples?

The Bambara/Jula cognate of this determiner is . The Maninka cognate is do.

So I think that we need to think of other examples for this one. How about a word for “skin” or “leather”?

  • B = wolo
  • J = golo
  • Mn = gbolo
  • Md = ???

How about a word for “thorn”?

  • B = ŋɔni
  • J = ŋɔni
  • M = wonin / wanin
  • Md = ???

I don’t think that they are historically related. I recall that from a previous discussion between you and I (and more consulting of Creissels’ work) that Mandinka actually doesn’t have qualitative verbs with their own predicate markers (i.e., ka/man in Bambara/Jula; e.g., À ka ɲi “It is good”).

Creissels’ actually confirms this (p. 15):

Mandinka behaves differently from most other Manding dialects, which have special predicative markers used with qualitative verbs only. In Mandinka, verbs such as kóyí or kàndí do not combine with special predicative markers; their combination with completive markers allows for a stative reading, but this property is not restricted to qualitative verbs.

So I think that using lexemes from the qualitative verb category will be tough for finding cognates with Mandinka.

I consulted Galtier’s dissertation (p. 124-125) and one set of examples that could work is for “heavy”:

  • B = girin
  • J = gwili
  • M = gbilin
  • Md = kuli / kuliŋ ???

Leather in Mandinka is kuloo/kulu, which appears cognate with wolo/golo/gbolo, right? Skin is fato. So the sound changes are: w - g - gb - k , right. Another example I can think of is the Kaabu Empire, which was called Gabu or Ngabu in other varieties of Manding. Even The Gambia is often called Kambi/Kambia in Mandinka, as there is no ‘g’ sound.

Thorn is ŋaniŋo in Mandinka, same as Bambara and Jula for that sound, but more like Maninka vocabulary wanin.

Mandinka as I was taught it and understand it only has transitive and intransitive verbs, and many descriptive/adjective words in English would be intransitive descriptive verbs in Mandinka, using the completive markers -ta /maŋ, as in A beteyaata - A diyaata - A koliyaata (It’s nice - It’s sweet/delicious/great - It’s hard/difficult) or negative A maŋ beteyaa - A maŋ diyaa, etc.
Koliyaa / koleyaa means ’ to be hard (in a physical or metaphorical sense, as in difficult)

‘To be heavy’ is actually kuliyaa, as in a kuliyaata le (It’s heavy), maybe they have the same root… since something heavy is difficult?

As for all of the descriptive verbs (not qualitative verbs?) in Mandinka, they end with -yaa. So the root kuli by itself isn’t ever spoken, and the verb itself in Mandinka is considered kuliyaa and modified like other intransitive verbs.

Yeah, basically, Mandinka doesn’t have qualitative verb constructions and uses “normal verbs” statively. You can also do this in the other varieties in many cases. So we will be able to find cognates in terms of the root word, but not in terms of the sentences’ grammar in such cases.

I ni ke @Iterimaa !

Right now, in “Manding Sound Correspondences”, you added tema for “between”:

This compound postposition form also exists in the other varieties (e.g., “between” and “cɛma” (< cɛ-ma Roughly literally, “Between-to”) in Bambara/Jula.

Other Mandinka sources list te and tee as also meaning “between” in Mandinka. Could it be that this simpler form just wasn’t common where you were? Or that it’s less used (and potentially dated or marked some ways today)? Would make for a more elegant table of correspondences :wink:

You’re right, it can be just tee as well, but at least where I lived teema was more common. So the ‘ma’ maybe from that directional preposition in Mandinka too, as in Bambara/Jula. Like santo (up/high) from saŋ + to (at/to/towards the sky). Duuma (down) also has the ma ending too.

I have no idea about other dialects within Senegambian Mandinka. I lived in the lower Fatick region in Senegal, close to the border of The Gambia, historically the Niumi Kingdom region in northwestern Gambia and up into parts of the Sine-Saloum river delta in Senegal. I would also love to learn more about how this dialect differs from Gambian and Casamance dialects of Mandinka.

1 Like