Argument realization, causation and event semantics in Kiwoso

Mallya, Aurelia (2016-12)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the properties of change of state and change of location/position verbs in relation to argument realization, (anti-)causative alternation, and event semantics in Kiwoso. To execute this study, firstly, a representative sample of change of state and change of location/position verbs as outlined by Levin (1993) were identified with regard to their syntactic and semantic characteristics. The data were gathered through introspections, complemented by other native speakers’ acceptability judgements, and text collection. The study adopts syntactic decomposition approach as postulated by Alexiadou et al. (2006, 2015) and Alexiadou (2010). Given that an adequate explanation of the syntactic behaviour of alternation constructions in Kiwoso is contingent on aspectual verb class distinctions, Vendler's (1957) aspectual approach as developed further by Verkuyl (1972) and Smith (1997) is invoked. The two approaches are supplemented by Distributed Morphology, Minimalism, and Cartography. Research on the (anti-)causative alternation focuses on two central issues: firstly, the lexical semantic properties that determine verbal alternations, and the derivational relationship between the alternates, and secondly, the similarities between (anti-)causative, passive, and middle alternations. This study demonstrates that both externally and internally caused change of state verbs, as well as change of location/position verbs productively alternate in Kiwoso. The findings of the study establish that participation of verbs in (anti-)causative alternation is determined by the encyclopaedic lexical semantics of verb roots. The results illustrate that the causative variants of externally caused change of state verbs in Kiwoso are morphologically marked, but the anticausative alternates are unmarked. The study demonstrates further that both causative and anticausative variants of internally caused change of state, and change of location/position verbs are morphologically unmarkedin Kiwoso. The study findings demonstrate that categorization of verb roots into semantic and aspectual verb classes is mainly determined by an incremental theme argument, and the grammatical aspect. In addition, the findings establish that an applicative suffix has an effect on the aspectual property of change of location/position verbs in Kiwoso. The results of the study demonstrate that realization of an external argument is determined by the lexical semantic property of verb roots. The findings establish that verbs which denote human-oriented events realize an agent and instrument arguments, but not causers, whereas other verbs realize agent, instrument, and causer arguments. The findings demonstrate that anticausative, passive, and middle constructions are syntactically similar in that they do not express the syntactic external (subject) argument, but they are semantically different aspects. The general findings of the study suggest that alternating verbs in Kiwoso are compositionally built in the syntax. This makes derivational approaches inadequate in accounting for the properties of these verbs. Therefore, the study adopts the family of generative syntax approaches which adequately account for the properties of these verbs in alternation constructions.causer arguments. The findings demonstrate that anticausative, passive, and middle constructions are syntactically similar in that they do not express the syntactic external (subject) argument, but they are semantically different aspects. The general findings of the study suggest that alternating verbs in Kiwoso are compositionally built in the syntax. This makes derivational approaches inadequate in accounting for the properties of these verbs. Therefore, the study adopts the family of generative syntax approaches which adequately account for the properties of these verbs in alternation constructions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die eienskappe van verandering van toestand en verandering van plek/posisie werkwoorde met betrekking tot argument realisering, die (anti-)kousatief, alternasie en gebeurtenis semantiek in Kiwoso. In die uitvoering van die studie is, eerstens, ‘n verteenwoordigende hoeveelheid van verandering van toestand en verandering van plek/posisie werkwoorde, soos beskryf in Levin (1993) geïdentifisser vir Kiwoso met betrekking tot hulle sintaktiese en semantiese kenmerke. Die data is versamel deur introspeksie van die navorser en aangevul met die taalkundige intuïsies van eerstetaalsprekers van Kiwoso asook die raadpleging van Kiwoso tekste. Die studie aanvaar die sintaktiese dekomposisie benadering soos gepostuleer deur Alexiadou et al (2006, 2015) en Alexiadou (2010). Gegee dat ‘n adekwate verduideliking van die alternasiekonstruksies in Kiwoso afhanklik is van aspektuele werkwoordklas onderskeidings, Vendler (1957) se aspektuele benadering, soos verder ontwikkel deur Verkuyl (1972) en Smith (1997) word ingespan in die studie. Hierdie twee benaderings word verder aangevul deur die teorieë van Verspreide morfologie (‘Distributed morphology’), Minimalisme en Kartografie. Navorsing oor die (anti-)kousatief alternasie fokus op twee sentrale vraagstukke, naamlik, eerstens, die leksikaal-semantiese kenmerke wat werkwoordelike alternasies bepaal, en die afleidingsverwantskap tussen die alternasies, en tweedens, die ooreenkomste tussen (anti)kousatiewe, passief en middel alternasies. Die studie demonstreer dat sowel eksterne as interne verandering van toestand asook verandering van plek/posisie werkwoorde produktief alterneer in Kiwoso. Die bevindings van die studie toon dat die deelname van werkwoorde in die (anti)kousatief alternasie bepaal word deur die ensiklopediese leksikale semantiek van werkwoord wortels. Die resultate illustreer dat die kousatiewe variante van eksterne veroorsaakte verandering van toestand werkwoorde in Kiwoso word morphologies gemerk, maar die antikousatiewe is ongemerk. Die studie demonstreer voorts dat sowel kousatiewe en antikousatiewe variante van intern veroorsaakte verandering van toestand werkwoorde en verandering van plek/posisie werkwoorde in Kiwoso is morphologies ongemerk. Die bevindings van die studie demonstreer dat die kategorisering van werkwoordwortels in semantiese en aspektuele werkwoordklasse hoofsaaklik bepaal word deur ‘n inkrementele tema argument, en grammatikale aspek. Voorts bevestig die bevindings dat ‘n applikatiewe suffiks ‘n effek het op die aspektuele eienskappe van verandering van plek/posisie werkwoorde in Kiwoso. Die resultate toon voorts dat die realisering van die eksterne argument bepaal word deur die leksikaal-semantiese eienskappe van die werkwoordwortel. Die bevindings bevestig ook dat werkwoorde wat mens-georiënteerde gebeurtenisse aandui, agent en instrument argumente, realiser, maar nie oorsaak argumente nie, terwyl ander werkwoorde agent, instrument en oorsaak argumente realiser. Die bevindings demonstreer verder dat antikousatiewe, passief en middel konstruksies sintakties ooreenstem in soverre dit nie die sintaktiese subjek argument uitdruk nie, maar semanties verskillende aspek toon. Die Algemene bevindings van die studie suggereer dat alternerende werkwoorde in Kiwoso word komposisioneel gebou in die sintaksis. Dit maak afleidingsbenaderings ontoereikend in die verklaring van die eienskappe van hierdie werkwoorde. Dus aanvaar hierdie studie verskillende generatiewe sintaksis benaderings wat die eienskappe van die werkwoorde in alternasiekonstruksies toereikend kan verklaar.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100201
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