Negation in Sesotho

Malete, Elias Nyefolo (2001-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

English Abstract: This research project examines the syntax of negative sentence constructions in Sesotho and explores implications of the empirical data on negation within the framework of the Minimalist Program. According to Minimalist Program, language consists of a lexicon and Computational System where the operations Merge and Move generate sets of structural descriptions, it is driven by the principle of economy, which entails that movement should take place only when necessary for the purpose of Case feature checking. It is also concerned with the expansion of syntactic structures in terms of X-bar theoretic properties, where functional category gives full categorical status. This project further considered the morphology of negation in Sesotho where Sesotho data is refined within the Lexeme-morpheme base morphology, where bound grammatical morphemes such as the negative morphemes in Sesotho are defined in terms of morphological spelling operations. Within these two theoretical frameworks, sentence constructions which realize negation by means of negative morphemes over a full range of tense, aspect and mood distinctions were examined, including sentence construction that realize negation in subordinate clauses as well as those that entail issues of topic and focus, and scope of negation. Constituent negation, with constituents such as subjects, objects and adjuncts is also investigated. Various ways of negating constituents in Sesotho were examined: they are cleft sentences, pseudo-cleft sentences, sentence construction with locative AgrS [ ho ] and sentence constructions with subject inversion as well as sentences where constituents are negated within the VP. All these methods were considered with regard to noncopulative and copulative verbs. The issue of focus which entails plain focus, restrictive and contrastive foci, the issue of topic, which entails stage topics, modified topics and multiple topics are investigated and interpreted within the Focus Structure theory, a theory which assigns focus structures to sentences of the language. Negative sentences are assigned two focus structure viz. main focus structure and the subordinate focus structure. Finally, this study also looks into the scope of negation in Sesotho, where negative criterion (Neg-criterion) stipulates various positions of negative morphemes or words which in turn determines the scope of negation. Scope of negation is also examined in terms of focus, with constituents such as NP's, NP Lac's and NP's in subordinate clauses.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsingsprojek ondersoek die sintaksis van konstruksies met negatiewe sinne in Sesotho en gaan die implikasies na van die empiriese data oor ontkenning binne die raamwerk van die Minimalistiese Program. Volgens die Minimalistiese Program, bestaan taal uit In leksikon en In rekenaarsisteem waar die bewerkinge Saamsmelt en Skuif versamelings strukturele beskrywings genereer, dit word aangedryf deur die beginsel van ekonomie wat inhou dat Skuif slegs plaasvind wanneer dit nodig is vir die doel van die nagaan van die Kasus kenmerk: dit het ook te doen met die uitbreiding van sintaktiese strukture in terme van die teoretiese kenmerke van die X-balk, waar die funksionele kategorie volle kategoriale status verkry. Dié projek het ook verder die morfologie van ontkenning in Sesotho oorweeg waar die Sesotho data verfyn is binne die Lekseem-Morfeem Basis Morfologie, waar grammatikale morfeme soos die negatiewe morfeme in Sesotho gedefinieer word in terme van morfologiese spellingsbewerkings. Binne hierdie twee teoretiese raamwerke, is daar ondersoek ingestel na sinskonstruksies wat negatief realiseer deur middel van negatiewe morfeme binne In volledige reeks van onderskeidinge van tyd, aspek en modus, insluitende sinskonstruksies waar die negatief realiseer in die bysin, asook daardie negatiewe wat gaan oor sake soos Topiek en Fokus, en die omvang van ontkenning. Konstituent ontkenning is ondersoek waaronder konstituente soos onderwerpe, voorwerpe en adjunkte. Verskeie wyses om konstituente in Sesotho te ontken is ondersoek, naamlik: klef en pseudo-klef sinne, sinskonstruksie met die lokatiewe kongruensie [ho] en sinskonstruksies met subjeksinversie asook sinne waar konstituente ontken word binne In werkwoordfrase. AI hierdie wyses is nagegaan met nie-kopulatiewe en kopulatiewe werkwoorde. Die probleem van fokus is ondersoek wat insluit eenvoudige fokus, beperkende en kontrastiewe fokus, asook die probleem van topiek wat verskeie soorte topiek insluit. Hierdie ondersoek is gedoen en uiteindelik geïnterpreteer binne die Fokus Sruktuur teorie, In teorie wat fokusstrukture toeken aan sinne van In taal. Negatiewe sinne word twee fokusstrukture toegeken, naamlik: die hoof fokus struktuur en die onderskikkende fokus struktuur. Laastens het die studie ook gekyk na die omvang ('scope') van ontkenning in Sesotho waar die negatiewe kriterium verskeie posisies van negatiewe morfeme of woorde stipuleer wat dan weer die omvang van ontkenning bepaal. Die omvang van ontkenning is ook ondersoek in terme van fokus waar kontrastiewe fokus die uitbreiding van omvang bepaaloor konstituente soos naamwoordfrases, lokatiewe naamwoordfrases en naamwoordfrases in onderskikkende klouse.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52352
This item appears in the following collections: