Surveying Causatives in Kwa: Form and Structure

08 November 2016 -08 November 2016 @ 16:00 - 17:00


November 8, 2016
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Room 4, Department of English Language and Linguistics, Rhodes University
Event Type:


Ian Siebörger
046 603 7420

This talk presents the various ways in which Kwa languages encode and express the notion of causation. In the languages surveyed,
there are three main ways of expressing causation: (a) lexical predicates (e.g. change of state verbs), (b) serial verb constructions, and
(c) analytic/syntactic causative predicates/constructions. In most of the languages, there are different morphological/lexical alternations
between verbs in the expression of causative and non-causative (autonomous) events which may shed crucial insight into argument structure patterns for some verbs in the languages. In many Kwa languages, the syntactic/analytic causative predicate is a grammaticalized form of the lexical verb ‘give’ although some of the languages use a form of the verb ‘do’. All the languages which use a grammaticalized form ‘give’ as a syntactic/analytic causative also have a ‘do’-causative, but not vice-versa. The syntax of analytic/syntactic causatives in Kwa range from a full complement sentence (S-type) to a reduced complex sentence (I-type) which displays properties of integrated serial verb construction.

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