Comparative syntax of the SA Bantu languages: Transitive and intransitive verbs in the SA Bantu languages

Du Plessis, Jacobus A. (2013-09)


Attention has been focused on the syntactic structure in which these verbs may appear, various features specific to these verbs as well as some verb classes in which these verbs regularly appear. The syntactic structure in which the intransitive verbs appear is the one developed within the Minimalist program with two verbal shells where the upper verbal shell is projected from a pjhonetically null light verb. The second verbal shell is assumed to be introduced by the [VP]. Intransitive verbs are distinguished as unergative and unaccusative verbs. They may appear with cognate objects, manner DPs and idiomatic objects. Various verb classes with intransitive verbs have been dealt with e.g. state verbs and verbs relating to the body. Transitive verbs with one internal argument appear in the same type of structure as the intransitive verbs. Various features of transitive verbs have been high-lighted as for instance word order, focus on the object, objectival agreement, stylistic movement, coordinated objects and other issues, as well as specific verb classes in which transitive verbs appear. Lastly, ditransitive verbs appear in structures with the same categories as with other verbs, but each time with two internal arguments. Some features of these verbs are given as well as verb classes in which ditransitive verbs frequently appear.

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