Serial Verb Constructions in Nzema: A Descriptive Analysis

Keywords: argument sharing, clause chaining serialization, concordial serial verb, integrated serial verb construction


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This paper aims to discuss Serial Verb Constructions (SVCs) in Nzema, a Southern Bia (Kwa) language. It draws on some of the characteristics and properties that have been surveyed in the existing literature, for instance, subject/object sharing, tense, aspect, and negation. It also discusses the types and functions of SVCs in Nzema. The current paper analyses the notions of tense, aspect, and polarity and how they are marked in Nzema SVCs. Most of the data used in the analysis has been derived from the daily conversations of native speakers. Four respondents were approached for the purpose of this study. The analysis shows that Nzema SVCs belong to the types explored in the literature as clause chaining, both integrated and concordial. Moreover, serial verb patterns are used by the speakers to add argument, such as an instrument or beneficiary. Future markers are used before the verbs, while past markers occur after the verbs. On the other hand, progressive aspect markers occur before the verbs in the speech of the respondents. Furthermore, tense and aspect marking are repeated by the respondents on all the verbs in the series. Regarding argument sharing, the object is only shared when the verbs in the series are transitive.

Keywords: argument sharing, clause chaining serialization, concordial serial verb, integrated serial verb construction


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How to Cite
Nyame, J., & Tomekyin, C. (2022). Serial Verb Constructions in Nzema: A Descriptive Analysis. Journal of Communication and Cultural Trends, 4(2), 81-101.