GSE Graduate Student Research

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Journal Article

Date of this Version



This article explores one structural way in which Jula differs from other Manding varieties: the forgoing of formally reflexive constructions in favor of formally ambiguous intransitive constructions and more rarely innovative idiomatic transitive constructions. To do so, I draw on contextually elicited forms from 2012 fieldwork with 9 Jula speakers in Burkina Faso. Given the limitations of elicitation, I explore wider acceptability judgments and text artifacts to reveal that Jula speakers in Burkina frequently recognize and in fact use formally reflexive constructions typically attributed to other Manding varieties such as Bamanan. These findings suggest that these so-called Bamanan constructions are enregistered (Agha 2007) for a certain social domain as sociolinguistic high-forms. This study thereby reveals the limitations of a traditional dialectology approach to understanding how various Manding forms circulate across isomorphic boundaries.


Jula, Burkina Faso, dialect, register, reflexive verbs



Date Posted: 11 January 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.