The causative and anticausative alternation in Kikongo (Kizombo)

Fernando, Mbiavanga (2013-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the applicability and suitability of the syntactic decomposition approach to account for the causative and anticausative alternation in Kikongo (Kizombo) in terms of the structural nodes of Voice, vCAUS and Root as posited in this approach to (anti-)causativity (see Alexiadou 2010). In addition, the aspectual approach postulated by Vendler (1957) and further developed by Verkuyl (1972) and Smith (1997) is invoked for the reason that the two alternants in the causative and anticausative alternation in Kikongo (Kizombo) are associated with aspectual verb class differences. Research on the causative and anticausative alternation has long been the focus of extensive work in typological and theoretical linguistics. Two central issues revolve around the debate: first the properties of meaning that determine the alternation and the derivational relationship between the alternants, and second, the relation between the causative alternation and other transitivity alternations, e.g. passives and middles. This dissertation demonstrates that there is a wide range of acceptability judgments associated with anticausative uses of Kizombo in externally and internally caused change of state and change of location/position verbs. The verb root is the element of meaning that allows the Kizombo verbs to alternate irrespective of their verb classes, including agentive verb roots. All the causative variants of externally caused verbs are morphologically unmarked, but all the anticausative variants are morphologically marked. However, all the internally caused change of state verbs are morphologically unmarked. Both the causative and anticausative variants of change of location/position verbs are morphologically unmarked. The anticausative and passive sentences can license an external causer through an implicit argument. While the passive verb sentences can be modified by by-agent, purpose clause and agent-oriented phrases, the anticausative sentences can be modified by instrument, natural force, agent-oriented and by-self phrases. The acceptability of modifiers with anticausatives and passives presupposes a presence of a causer in both constructions. The causative form of change of location/position verbs is syntactically intransitive (i.e. in the locative-subject alternation), but its anticausative variant acquires a transitive-like form. Thus, the concept of causative is related to cause and effect of the argument participating in the process. The study considers competing approaches concerning the derivational direction of the causative and anticausative alternation. Given the data in Kizombo, it is argued that the syntactic decomposition approach is the most appropriate to account for the example sentences in the causative and anticausative constructions. The transitive approach could probably deal with the externally caused change of state verbs, as discussed in chapter 6, but would face a challenge relating to the change of location/position verbs because none of the variants is morphologically marked.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie het die toepaslikheid en geskiktheid van die benadering tot sintaktiese ontleding ondersoek ten einde rekenskap te gee van die kousatiewe en antikousatiewe wisseling in Kikongo (Kizombo) ten opsigte van die strukturele vertakpunte van Voice, vCAUS en Root soos in hierdie benadering tot (anti-)kousatiwiteit gestel (sien Alexiadou 2010). Daarbenewens is die aspektiese benadering soos voorgestaan deur Vendler (1957) en verder ontwikkel deur Verkuyl (1972) en Smith (1997) gebruik omdat die twee alternante in die kousatiewe en antikousatiewe wisseling in Kikongo (Kizombo) met aspektiese verskille in werkwoordklasse geassosieer word. Navorsing oor die kousatiewe en antikousatiewe wisseling is reeds lank die fokus van omvangryke werk in tipologiese en teoretiese linguistiek. Twee sentrale kwessies word by die debat betrek: eerstens die eienskappe van betekenis wat die wisseling en die afleidende verband tussen die alternante bepaal, en tweedens, die verhouding tussen die kousatiewe wisseling en ander transitiwiteitswisselinge, bv. passief- en middelkonstruksies. Hierdie verhandeling toon dat daar ʼn wye reeks aanvaarbaarheidsuitsprake is wat met antikousatiewe gebruik van Kizombo by verandering van toestand en verandering van plasing/posisie van werkwoorde wat ekstern en intern veroorsaak word, geassosieer word. Die werkwoordwortel is die betekeniselement wat dit vir die Kizombo-werkwoorde moontlik maak om te wissel ongeag hulle werkwoordklasse, met inbegrip van agenswerkwoordwortels. Al die kousatiewe variante van ekstern veroorsaakte werkwoorde is morfologies ongemerk, maar al die antikousatiewe variante is morfologies gemerk. Al die intern veroorsaakte verandering van toestandswerkwoorde is morfologies ongemerk. Beide die kousatiewe en antikousatiewe variante van verandering van plasing/posisie van werkwoorde is morfologies ongemerk. Die antikousatiewe en passiewe sinne kan ʼn eksterne doener deur ʼn implisiete argument toelaat. Terwyl die sinne met passiewe werkwoorde gewysig kan word deur deur-agent, doel-sinsdeel en agent-georiënteerde frases, kan die antikousatiewe sinne gewysig word deur instrument-, natuurlike krag-, agent-georiënteerde en deur-self-frases. Die aanvaarbaarheid van modifiseerders met antikousatiewe en passiewes voorveronderstel ʼn aanwesigheid van ʼn doener in albei konstruksies. Die kousatiewe vorm van verandering van plasing/posisiewerkwoorde is sintakties onoorganklik (m.a.w. in die lokatief–onderwerp-wisseling), maar die antikousatiewe variant daarvan verkry ʼn oorganklik-agtige vorm. Die begrip van kousatief hou dus verband met oorsaak en gevolg van die argument wat aan die proses deelneem. Die studie neem kompeterende benaderings met betrekking tot die afleidende rigting van die kousatiewe en antikousatiewe wisseling in ag. Gegewe die data in Kizombo, word aangevoer dat die benadering van sintaktiese ontleding die geskikste is om rekenskap te gee van die voorbeeldsinne in die kousatiewe en antikousatiewe konstruksies. Die oorganklike benadering sou waarskynlik aan die ekstern veroorsaakte verandering van toestandswerkwoorde, soos in hoofstuk 6 bespreek, aandag kon skenk maar sou voor ʼn uitdaging met betrekking tot die verandering van plasing/posisiewerkwoorde te staan kom aangesien geeneen van die variante morfologies gemerk is nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/79912
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