N. Kuznetsova. Homonymy and polysemy of lē in Guro: Identificational, quotative, conjunction, focus, and relative-possessive functions // N. Sumbatova, I. Kapitonov, M. Khachaturyan, S. Oskolskaya, S. Verhees (eds.). Songs and Trees: Papers in Memory of Sasha Vydrina. St. Petersburg: Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 2023. P. 227-284.

The study discusses the homonymy and polysemy of lē in Guro (South Mande). Lē has the grammatical functions of the identificational copula, the quotative predicator, the conjunction (clause linking marker) introducing reported speech and some non-speech optative/purpose clauses, a focus marker, and a marker used in relative and possessive constructions.
I analyse these functions in detail and highlight the transitory cases. I also discuss the functional correlates of different Guro lē in cognate South Mande languages and consider potential historical relations between the types of lē. I conclude that the possessive marker is the most distinct type of lē, most likely historically unrelated to other types (LĒ2). The remaining types (LĒ1) might ultimately have common origins, although there is some distinction between the quotative-conjunction lē sub-cluster and the identifier-focus-relativiser lē sub-cluster. The types within the first sub-cluster are linked through a quotative function. The types within the second cluster are related through the structure of cleft sentences. The two clusters might be ultimately related through the predicative function of lē as the identificational copula.