Work Description

Title: Lexical spreadsheets Bangime language of Mali Open Access Deposited
Attribute Value
  • Lexical elicitation, enriched by lexicon extracted from texts. The presentation separates nouns, adjectives, numerals, other, and verbs to permit customized formats for each category. Each class has its own worksheet in the xlsx spreadsheet, and its own document in the csv series.
  • The work on the Bangime language, spoken by the Bangande people, was carried out as part of a larger linguistic fieldwork project focused on Dogon languages. Bangime is confirmed as a language isolate with no demonstrable linguistic relatives—possibly the only such isolate in West Africa.
Contact information
Funding agency
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
ORSP grant number
  • multiple
Citations to related material
  • Heath & Hantgan. A grammar of Bangime. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2018. ISBN 978-3-11-055749-7
Resource type
Last modified
  • 01/20/2020
  • 03/18/2019
To Cite this Work:
Heath, J., Hantgan, A., Elders, S. (2019). Lexical spreadsheets Bangime language of Mali [Data set]. University of Michigan - Deep Blue.


Files (Count: 7; Size: 525 KB)


Bangime is a language isolate of east-central Mali, spoken by the Bangande people. A reference grammar by J. Heath and A. Hantgan was published in the Mouton Grammar Library, de Gruyter publisher (Berlin), in 2018, ISBN 978-3-11-055749-7. Audio recordings (mostly transcribed and translated at the end of the published grammar) and images of the Bandange villages are available elsewhere in deepblue, as follows:


Heath is primarily responsible for these spreadsheets. A. Hantgan and the late S. Elders made major contributions to the overall Bangime project. The main native-speaker assistant was Adama Dicko of Bounou village.

The format used in these sheets divides lexicon into five categories: nouns, adjectives, numerals, other, and verbs. “Other” includes adverbs, adpositions, and other grammatical elements. In the xlsx versions, these are distinct worksheets belonging to a single spreadsheet. In the csv versions, each sheet is its own document. The division into multiple sheets allows each category to be formatted in a customized manner, depending on the language.

In the tone melody formulae for nouns, asterisk * indicates optional repetition of the preceding tone, H[igh], L[ow], or M[id]. For example, L*H means one or more low tones followed by one high tone, and LH* means one low tone followed by one or more high tones.

In the xlsx spreadsheet only, greying out of cells means “not applicable,” e.g. because a noun has no singular form or a verb has intransitive forms only. Text may appear in a greyed-out leftmost cell for nouns to permit alphabetical sorting.

“stem” (all entries are marked n for noun)
“shape” CvLv, etc. (C=consonant, v=vowel, L=sonorant)
“melody” (tone pattern), e.g. LH(L), HHM(L), L=low, H=high, M=mid. Some stems are marked as “nonalt[ernating]” to indicate that they do not undergo tonal ablaut when preceded by a determiner.
“dim” (marks nouns with diminutive features): “dim lex” = lexical diminutive
“cpd” (marks compounds)
“rdp” (marks reduplicative nouns)
(five forms of each noun, see below)
“English” gloss
“French” gloss

The first few columns allow sorting to bring relevant nouns together, either based on their phonological form or their morphology.

The five forms shown for each noun are the following (“determined” means preceded by a determiner, i.e. by a possessor or by the definite marker):
a) undetermined singulsr
b) undetermined plural
c) definite singular
d) post-possessor singular
e) determined (i.e. definite OR post-possessor) plural
Most nouns undergo tonal ablaut in forms (c-e), but the details vary by tone-melodic class, and some nouns (especially but not only heavy forms and borrowings) do not undergo ablaut.

“stem” (adj), “shape”, “melody”, “dim”, “cpd”, “rdp” as for nouns
“sg” (singular form of adjective)
“pl” (plural form of adjective)
“English” gloss
“French” gloss
Since adjectives are preceded by nouns, they are not subject to tonal ablaut triggered by pre-nominal determiners.

“stem” (num), “shape”, “melody”, “cpd” as for nouns
“undet sg” = undetermined singular, the usual numeral form
“undet pl” = undetermined plural

“stem” may be adv[erb], aux[iliary], compl[ementizer], coord[inator], def[inite], dem[onstrative], disc[ourse category], interrog[ative], misc[ellaneous], poss[essive], postp[osition], pred[icate morpheme], prefix, pron[oun], quant[ifier], rel[ative marker], simil[arity], suffix.
“shape”, “cpd”, “rdp”, “form”, “English”, and “French” are as for nouns or self-explanatory

“stem” (v) and “shape” as for nouns
“class” indicates verb class (mutating, invariant, etc., as explained in the grammar)
“trunc” marks verbs that have truncated forms (usually Pfv2)
“sem” marks certain semantic types of verbs that have characteristic tonal patterns: change-of-state, stance, motion
“tones” use six letters (L=low, M=mid, H=high) to summarize the tones of the forms shown in the next six columns
(six forms of each verb, see below)
“English”, “French”, “comment 1”, and “comment 2”

The six forms are Pfv1 (3Sg), Ipfv (1Sg), Fut, Deon, Imprt, and Pfv2, comprising the “principal parts” that define the overall paradigm of each verb. Pfv = perfective, Ipfv= imperfective, Fut = future, Deon = deontic, Imprt = imperative. There are two distinct perfective forms labeled 1 and 2. The morphology consists of tonal changes and, for some verbs, also suffixation, as explained in the grammar.


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