ERIC Number: ED373534
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Complex Predicates and Event Structure: An Integrated Analysis of Serial Verb Constructions in the Mabia Languages of West Africa. Working Papers in Linguistics No. 20.
Bodomo, Adams B.
An integrated analysis of the syntax and semantics of serial verb constructions (SVCs) in a group of West African languages is presented. With data from Dagaare and closest relatives, a structural definition for SVCs is developed (two or more lexical verbs that share grammatical categories within a clause), establishing SVCs as complex predicates. Based on syntactic theories, a formal phrase structure is adapted for representation of SVCs, interpreting each as a product of a series of VP adjunctions. Within this new, non-derivational, pro-expansionary approach to grammar, several principles are developed to license grammatical information flow and verbal ordering priority. Based on semantic theories, a functional account of SVCs is developed: that the actions represented by the verbs in the SVC together express a single, complex event. A new model of event structure for all constructional transitions is proposed, and it is illustrated how two types of these transitions, West African SVCs and Scandinavian small clause constructions (SCCs), conform to this proposed event structure. Further, SVCs and SCCs are used to propose a parameter of variation between serializing and non-serializing languages. A survey of the general structure of the Mabia languages is also presented. (MSE)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Trondheim Univ. (Norway). Dept. of Linguistics.
Identifiers - Location: Africa