SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Arnott, D. W. (1960) The tense system in Gombe Fula. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (47MB)


Investigation of the Gombe variety of Fula has shown the importance for a description of the tense system, not only of differences in the tense suffix but also of the behaviour of other elements - the radical, 'subject element', 'object element', and 'preterite element' - which are linked with the tense suffix in what is here treated as a 'verbal complex'. The aim of this thesis is to demonstrate the interdependence of all these element to determine the relevance to the tense system of each of than, and also of certain other features of the complex - its intonation pattern, and a phenomenon here called 'final glottality'; and to establish the nature of the relationship between all these features. A preliminary examination of sample complexes in certain selected tenses shows in outline the interdependence of the elements and the importance of the various features in these selected tenses. The whole range of tenses is then studied, and each feature is examined in turn. Attention is given first to differences in the arrangement of the elements, then to the behaviour of the individual elements, first of 'minimal' complexes and then of 'enlarged' complexes, and conclusions are drawn about their relationships to. each other and their relevance to the tense system. Next a broader consideration of tense suffixes leads to further generalisations about some of the patterns observed. Lastly attention is given to the significance of differences (a) in the intonation pattern of the complex and (b) in the incidence of final glottality. The concluding chapter summarises previous findings, which have demonstrated the interdependence of the various features of the verbal complex, establishes the degree of relevance of each to the tense system, and on the basis of the proved relationships between the features, suggests an order of priority for descriptive purposes.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:12

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item