The argument structure of deverbal nominals in Venda

Mandoma, Thiathu Joseph (1994-03)

Study project (M.A.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1994.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: This study investigates the structure of deverbal event nominals in Venda. The central aim of this study is to investigate the syntactic projection or realization of arguments in the argument structure of the deverbal event nominals. The properties of these structures will be investigated in full. The event nominals used will be derived from a diversity of verbs, monotransitive verbs, ditransitive and intransitive verbs. The data that will be used in this study have been collected from Venda, although reference is made to English examples, more especially in section two (2). It will be demonstrated that the argument structure of the deverbal event nominals in Venda is similar to the argument structure of the related active verb. The difference between the two is that there is a visible external argument assigned by the verb phrase, whereas a similar external argument does not occur with deverbal event nominals. All the arguments of the deverbal event nominals appear within the maximal projection of the nominals in question. They occur in the postnominal position, either as complements of the genitive a or any salient preposition. Just like in English, some theta-roles are assigned by prepositions in the argument structure of deverbal nominals in Venda. The only difference is that the argument structure of the deverbal event nominals in Venda may have bare NPs, that is, arguments which are not preceded by a genitive a or any preposition may occur and still carry their theta-roles. However, arguments immediately adjacent to the deverbal event nominals must be preceded by a preposition or the genitive a. It will be demonstrated that ambiguity occurs in instances of omission or alternation of arguments. This occurs especially when the remaining argument is animate (that is if the argument projected in a syntactic position is animate or have human control ambiguity arises in the thematic interpretation if any other argument is not realized). There is also a relationship between the argument structure of deverbal event nominals and control theory. An implicit argument or an overt argument in the argument structure of deverbal event nomina1s may successfully serve as the controller of the PRO subject of infinitival clause.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die sintaktiese struktuur van deverbatiewe handeling ('event') naamwoordkonstruksies in Venda. Diesentrale doelwit van die studie is om die sintaktiese projeksie (of realisering) van die argument deverbatiewe handeling (' event') te ondersoek. Die kenmerke van die argumentstruktuur van hierdie soort deverbatiewe naamwoorde word volledig ondersoek. Die handelingnaamwoorde wat ondersoek word, is afgelei van verskillende werkwoorde: onoorganklike, enkeloorganklike en dubbeloorganklike werkwoorde. Die data wat gebruik word in die studie kom van Venda, alhoewel verwysing gemaak sal word na voorbeelde uit Engels, veral in afdeling 2. Daar sal aangetoon word dat die argumentstruktuur van deverbatiewe handelingnaamwoorde in Venda ooreenkom met die argumentstruktuur van die verwante werkwoorde. Die verskil is dat die eksterne argument duidelik buite die VP gerealiseer word, terwyl 'n soortgelyke eksterne argument nie met deverbatiewe handelingnaamwoorde voorkom nie: al die argumente van die deverbatiewe handelingnaamwoorde verskyn binne die maksimale projeksie van die handelingnaamwoord. Hierdie argumente verskyn in posisies na die deverbatiewe naamwoord, of as komplemente van die genitiewe a, of as komplementvan 'n preposisie. Soos in Engels, word sommige theta-rolle in Venda toegeken deur preposisies in die argumentstruktuur van deverbatiewe handelingnaamwoorde. Die enigste verskil is dat die argumentstruktuur van h ierd ie naamwoorde in Venda NPs mag he wat nie voorafgegaan word deur die gentiewe a nie. Dit wil se, bepaalde argument NPs mag verskyn sonder die genitiewe a, en steeds hul tematiese interpretasie behou. Wanneer argument NP's egter onmiddellik regs van die deverbatiewe handelingnaamwoord verskyn, moet dit voorafgegaan word deur die genitiewe a of 'n preposisie. Daar sal aangetoon word dat dubbelsinnigheid ontstaan in gevalle van die weglating of alternering in liniere orde van argumente. Dit is veral die geval wanneer die oorblywende argument die kenmerk [tlewend] het. Dit wil se wanneer die NP argument wat struktureel geprojekteer is lewend is, of ge'interpreteer word as dat dit onder menslike kontrole staan, ontstaan daar dubbelsinnigheid in die tematiese interpretasie van 'n argument as enige ander argument nie gerealiseer word nie. Daar is ook 'n verband tussen die argumentstruktuur van deverbatiewe handelingnaamwoorde en die teorie van kontrole. Dit word aangetoon dat 'n overte of 'n implisiete argument kan optree as kontroleerder van subjek PRO in infinitiefklouse.

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