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Comparison, similarity and simulation in Zaar, a Chadic language of Nigeria

Abstract : This paper discusses the linguistic expression of similarity, aka 'similative' in Zaar, a Chadic language spoken south of Bauchi State, in Northern Nigeria. As the Zaar similative is related to other functional structures, both morphologically (e.g. equative, simulative), or cognitively (e.g. comparison of superiority, aka 'comparative'), these will also be included in the discussion. After a presentation of Zaar and its typological characteristics, stressing the fact that the predicative words expressing the standard of comparison in Zaar are essentially verbs, not adjectives (Section 2), the paper does a quick morpho-syntactic survey of the general cognitive operation of comparison (Section 3), showing how the equative, similative and simulative structures are based on the preposition ɗan, 'like' whereas the comparative structure centers on the verb mop, 'surpass'. Section 4 studies the comparative, while Section 5 focuses on the preposition ɗan and its morpho-syntactic status in relation with the equative and the similative structures. Section 6 shows how the morphemes ɗan, 'like', the quotative tu, and the particle ku combine to form the simulative marker ɗan (ku)tu. Finally, Section 7 summarises the contribution of Zaar to the study of comparison and similarity.
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Contributor : Bernard Caron <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 2:23:06 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 1:28:01 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 8:00:55 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00770842, version 2


Bernard Caron. Comparison, similarity and simulation in Zaar, a Chadic language of Nigeria. Expressions de similarité dans une perspective africaniste et typologique, Jul 2012, Villejuif, France. ⟨halshs-00770842v2⟩



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