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An Inflectional Approach to Hausa Final Vowel Shortening

Berthold Crysmann
In: Yearbook of Morphology 2004. Pages 73-112, Springer, 2005.


In this paper, I will address the phenomenon of final vowel shortening (FVS) in Hausa. Based on detailed morphological evidence, I shall argue that FVS is but one exponent of a systematic morphosyntactic distinction in the language. Given the systematicity of the distinction together with the diversity of exponence, I shall conclude that a treatment in terms of inflectional morphology is to be preferred over Hayes (1990)'s analysis as Precompiled Phrasal Phonology (PPP). The morphological view will furthermore enable us to connect the Hausa data to a typologically well-established inflectional category, namely marking of the mode of argument realisation, a perspective that will deepen our understanding of Hausa syntax and morphology.