Complex predicates (CP) have attracted the attention of a number of linguists, and their syntactic properties have been widely investigated cross-linguistically. This paper describes Swahili “complex predicates”, that is, verbal constructions (V+N) which resemble a typical verb-object relation, but function like a single lexical verb. In particular, we will deal with a specific type of CP, involving body part terms as part of the predicate, such as -fa moyo, lit. die heart, ‘despair’; -kata ini, lit. cut liver, ‘cause suffering’; or -toka damu, lit. go out blood, ‘bleed’. We show how body part nouns differ from other nominal elements typically employed in complex predicates, both in their syntactic properties (e.g. object marking and possessor raising) and in their semantic characteristics (e.g. degree of semantic compositionality). Indeed, body part terms are often employed to conceptualize more abstract entities and ideas which belong to different semantic domains. Unlike other nominal elements, they seem to occupy the slot of regular objects, while they are not syntactic arguments of the verb, but rather define the scope, range, character or extent of the process.

SWAHILI COMPLEX PREDICATES WITH BODY PART TERMS

Tramutoli Rosanna
2022

Abstract

Complex predicates (CP) have attracted the attention of a number of linguists, and their syntactic properties have been widely investigated cross-linguistically. This paper describes Swahili “complex predicates”, that is, verbal constructions (V+N) which resemble a typical verb-object relation, but function like a single lexical verb. In particular, we will deal with a specific type of CP, involving body part terms as part of the predicate, such as -fa moyo, lit. die heart, ‘despair’; -kata ini, lit. cut liver, ‘cause suffering’; or -toka damu, lit. go out blood, ‘bleed’. We show how body part nouns differ from other nominal elements typically employed in complex predicates, both in their syntactic properties (e.g. object marking and possessor raising) and in their semantic characteristics (e.g. degree of semantic compositionality). Indeed, body part terms are often employed to conceptualize more abstract entities and ideas which belong to different semantic domains. Unlike other nominal elements, they seem to occupy the slot of regular objects, while they are not syntactic arguments of the verb, but rather define the scope, range, character or extent of the process.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11574/208837
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