This paper provides a typological survey of Mano, a Mande language of Guinea and Liberia. It sketches a linguistic portrait of Mano as a representative member of the Southern branch of the Mande family. The family features shared by Mano include S-Aux-O-V-X word order, the parallelism between nominal and verbal syntax, and the ubiquity of passive lability. The branch features include rich tonal morphology, the unstable character of nasal consonants, and rich pronominal paradigms, including auxiliaries that index the person and number of the subject. Some of the features presented here have not been sufficiently analyzed in the Mandeist literature, so it is unclear how unusual Mano is in comparison to other Mande languages in terms of the large class of inalienably possessed nouns, or the clause-level nominalization that may include another clause as its constituent. Finally, some properties are almost certainly specific to Mano, such as the dedicated tonal forms used in conditional clauses. This paper puts Mano in its typological context, elaborating on those features which are cross linguistically well attested versus those which are cross linguistically rare.
Fields of Science
- 6121 Languages