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Temne

  • Sullay M. Kanu (a1) and Benjamin V. Tucker (a1)

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Temne belongs to the South Atlantic Group of Niger-Congo (formerly the Southern Branch of the Atlantic Group of Niger-Congo; Blench 2006, Childs 2010) spoken in the northern part of Sierra Leone. According to Ethnologue (ISO 639–3: tem, Lewis 2009), Temne has a population of about 1.2 million native speakers. Like other South Atlantic languages, Temne is a tonal language with a noun class system, prefixed noun class markers and agreeing prefixes on dependent elements. Features determining class membership include number and animacy. Temne also features extension suffixes which alter the valency or the semantic structure of simple verb stems. The basic word order is Subject–Verb–Object.

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References

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Bai-Sheka, Abou. 2007. Temne–English dictionary. Kearney: Morris Publishing.
Blench, Roger M. 2006. Archaeology, language, and the African past. Lanham: AltaMira Press.
Childs, G. Tucker. 2010. Language contact in Africa, a selected review. In Hickey, Raymond (ed.), Handbook of language contact, 695713. Malden, MA & Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Dalby, David. 1966. Lexical analysis of Temne with an illustrative word list. Journal of West African Languages 3, 526.
Kamarah, Sheik U. 1994. Phonology and tonology in the morphology of Temne: A lexicalist approach. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Kamarah, Sheik U. 2007. A descriptive grammar of KaThemne (Temne). Munich: Lincom.
Kanu, Sullay M. 2002. A linguistic study of Themne phonology. MA thesis, University of Sierra Leone.
Ladefoged, Peter. 1968. A phonetic study of West African languages: An auditory-instrumental survey. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ladefoged, Peter. 1971. Preliminaries to linguistic phonetics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Lewis, M. Paul (ed.). 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the world, 16th edn. Dallas, TX: SIL International. http://www.ethnologue.com.
Nemer, Julie & Mountford, Keith. 1984. The interaction of segmental and tonal levels: The case of [ʌ] in Temne. Studies in African Linguistics 15 (2), 107161.
Schlenker, C. F. 1864. A grammar of the Temne language. London: J. F. Steinkopf. [Printed for the Church Missionary Society.]
Scott, J. P. L. 1956. An introduction to Temne grammar. Freetown: Sierra Leone Government Printing Press.
Sumner, A. T. 1922. A handbook of the Temne language. Freetown: Sierra Leone Government Printing Press.
Turay, Abdul K. (ed.). 1989. Temne stories. Cologne: Rüdiger Koppe Verlag.
Wilson, William A. A. 1961. An outline of the Temne language. London: School of Oriental and African Studies.
Wilson, William A. A. 1968. An interpretation of the Temne tone system. The Journal of West African Languages 5, 511.
Wilson, William A. A. 2007. Guinea languages of the Atlantic group: Description and internal classification. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
Yillah, S. M. 1992. Temne phonology and morphology. Ph.D. dissertation, The City University of New York.
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Kanu and Tucker sound files
Kanu, Sullay M. & Benjamin V. Tucker. 2010. Temne. JIPA 40(2), 247–253.

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