The syntax of verbs involving the body in Isixhosa

Spofana, Dumisani Godfrey (1999)

Assignment (M.A.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study examines the syntax of the verbs involving the body in isiXhosa. This is done with the view of giving a full account of how these verbs behave. The study is based on the theory of Government and Binding. The study gives a full account of the predicate argument structure (PAS) of the verbs involving the body. IsiXhosa has three types of predicates, namely, one place, two place and three place predicates. The study also focuses on the number of arguments these verbs may assign, some of these verbs are intransitive and therefore they assign one argument which is an external argument. Other verbs are transitive and as such they assign more than one argument (i.e. external and internal arguments). These verbs are investigated as to whether they would allow cognate objects and it was found that some of them would allow such objects. It is worth mentioning that for some verbs it is not usual in spoken language to use them with cognate objects though the written form may be proper. Another difference between transitive and intransitive verbs is that when they are used in the passive construction the copulative in intransitive verbs tends to be in plural whereas in transitive verbs tends to be either plural or singular. This may be accounted by the fact that positive passives indicate a universal permission to do something as against the negative passives that indicate a universal prohibition. It was found that certain verbs involving the body would accept human locatives and such locatives have the interpretation oflocation. Another observation was that the verbs involving the body cannot be used with the Infinitival clause unless they appear with the applicative -el

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die sintaks van werkwoorde oor die liggaam in Xhosa. Die doel is om volledig te beskryf hoedat sulke werkwoorde gebruik word. Die studie berus op die teorie van ooreenstemming en binding. Die studie verskaf'n voile beskrywing van die predikaat argumentstruktuur van werkwoorde wat die liggaam betrek. Xhosa het drie tipes predikate, tewete enkelplek, tweeplek en drieplek predikate. Die studie fokus ook op die aantal argumente wat hierdie werkwoorde kan bepaal, sommige van hierdie werkwoorde is onoorganklik, derhalwe bepaal hulle een argument wat ekstern is. Ander werkwoorde is oorganklik, sodarmeer as een argument, tewete ekstern en intern, bepaal .. Hier word ondersoek of kongitiewe onderwerpe gebruik kan word, en dit is bevind <lat dit kan plaasvind. Dit dien ook vermeld te word dat by sommige werkwoorde gebruik van kongitiewe onderwerpe in die spreektaal selde moontlik is, maar in skryftaal wel. 'n Verdere verskil tussen oorganklike en onoorganklike werkwoorde is dat wanneer hulle in die passiewe vorm gebruik word, die kopulatiewe by onoorganklike werkwoorde neig om in die meerderheidsvorm te wees, terwyl dit by oorganklike werkwoorde of enkelvoudig of in meerderheids vorm kan wees. Dit mag wees omdat die positiewe passiewe vorms dui op 'n universile toestemming om iets te doen, terwyl negatiewe passiewes 'n universile verbod impliseer. Daar is bevind dat sommige werkwoorde rondom die liggaam menslike motiewe kan neem, en dat sulke lokatiewe 'n vertolking van die lokatiefkan behels. 'n Verdere waarneming was dat werkwoorde oor die liggaam nie met 'n infinitiewe sinsnede gebruik kan word sonder die applikatief-el nie.

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