BANTU APPLICATIVE CONSTRUCTION TYPES INVOLVING *-ID: FORM, FUNCTIONS AND DIACHRONY
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation first addresses various shortcomings in definitions of “applicative” when compared to what is actually found across languages. It then proposes a four-way distinction among applicative constructions, relevant at least to Bantu, a large family of languages spoken in Sub-Saharan Africa. Because of the gradual nature of historical change, differences among construction types may be somewhat graded. In what are called Type A applicative constructions, the applicative morpheme expands the argument structure of its root by introducing an obligatorily present applied phrase. This expansion might result, but need not, in increased syntactic valence of the derived verb stem. Type A includes cases where the applicative on a lexicalized applicative stem still has the ability to introduce an applied phrase. In Type B applicative constructions, the applicative expands the argument structure of its root by introducing an obligatorily present applied phrase and performs other semantic/pragmatic functions on the applied phrase or on the whole clause (e.g. the applied phrase becomes the narrow-focused constituent in the clause). As in Type A, syntactic valence might be increased, but need not be. In Type C applicative constructions, the applicative does not introduce an applied phrase. Instead, it provides semantic nuances to the lexical meaning of its root (e.g. the action described by the root is performed to completion, repetitively, in excess, etc.). Unlike Type A and Type B, Type C constructions are not fully productive and may undergo lexicalization. Fourthly, in Pseudo-applicative constructions, the applicative morpheme found on a lexicalized stem does not introduce an applied phrase and does not perform semantic and/or pragmatic functions described for Type B and Type C. Because the last type, especially, has not been acknowledged in prior literature, the dissertation presents a historically informed case study of 78 pseudo-applicative forms in Tswana (S31), a southern Bantu language spoken in Botswana and South Africa. Finally, this study argues that both the synchronic functions of the Bantu applicative suffix *-ɪd and the lexicalization paths emerging from the study of Tswana pseudo-applicative forms support an original Location/Goal function of *-ɪd in Proto-Bantu, rather than an original Beneficiary function.