A Grammatical Sketch of Ega

Page Index

The content of this page was developed from the research of
Dafydd Gibbon, Bruce Connell, and Firmin Ahoua.


Ega nouns have prefixes and suffixes. The prefix is a vowel, and indicates the class and number of the noun. The suffix functions as a determiner.

1. e_Ldo_M a bull
2. i_Ldo_M some bulls
3. e_Ldo_M – te_H the bull
4. e_Ldo_M – me_H this bull

(_L, _M, _H = low, mid, high tones)

There are six classes of noun, associated with each of Ega's five vowels plus null. Adjectives and numerals must agree with this noun class. Independently of these six classes, Ega also has eight noun genders that may appear in singular or plural, and six that may only appear in singular forms (generally used for mass, abstract, or uncountable nouns such as water, hunger and left-hand respectively). All deverbal nouns are also included in this group.

Constituent order

The constituents of a clause are ordered SVO, and interrogative utterances are marked simply by an additional morpheme, with no change in word order. However, wh-words always appear at the beginning of a phrase, and nouns maybe be focused to clause-initial position (or marked with a topicalisation morpheme, in the case of the subject).


Most verb stems in Ega are monosyllabic, although there are some bisyllabic stems, but verbs carry a series of affixes according to the following paradigm: subject pronouns – prefix – stem – suffix – object pronoun

Note that tone is also lexical on verbs:

5. nI_H wa_B I come
6. nI_H wa_H I kill

However, this contrast may be neutralised in conjugaisons in which both verb classes take a mid tone, specifically in the perfect or negative future tenses.

7. nI_H wa_M I have come / I have killed
8. na_H wa_M la_B – a_B I will not come / I will not kill

Follow the path of the Ega data

  1. Get Started: Summary of the Ega conversion
  2. Build a Lexicon: Lexicons page (Classroom)
  3. Encode Characters: Unicode pages (Classroom)
  4. Create an IGT: IGT pages (Classroom)
  5. Convert Audio Data: Audio pages (Classroom)
  6. Convert Video Data: Video pages (Classroom)
  7. Utilize an Ontology: Ontology pages (Classroom)

User Contributed Notes
E-MELD School of Best Practices: Ega Grammatical Sketch
+ Add a comment
  + View comments

Back to top Credits | Glossary | Help | Navigation | Site Map | Site Search