Chapter published in:Afroasiatic: Data and perspectives
Edited by Mauro Tosco
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 339] 2018
► pp. 203–233
Locative predication in Chadic
Implications for linguistic theory
The aim of this study is to demonstrate that Proto-Chadic had a category ‘locative predication’ that was formally and semantically distinct from all other predications in the language. The proposed hypothesis, combined with the principle of functional transparency (Frajzyngier & Shay 2003), allows us to answer the following theoretical questions: (1) why lexical items with the same reference have different properties across languages; (2) why a given form in the same language is sometimes used and sometimes not used in the coding of what appears to be the same situation; (3) why some languages have only one locative preposition and other languages have many; (4) why some languages deploy serial verb constructions and others do not; and (5) why some languages deploy verbal extensions for some functions and others do not. These questions are examined using data from locative expressions in Chadic languages.The existence of a grammaticalized predication may imply that some lexical items are compatible with semantic features of the predication and others are not. The existence of locative predication, as proposed for Proto-Chadic, means that, if the semantic feature ‘locative’ is present in the complement and/or in the predicate, no other formal means are required to mark either component for locative predication. If the feature ‘locative’ is absent in the predicate, languages with locative predication have either lexicalized the category ‘locative predicator’ or have grammaticalized other means, such as serial verb constructions and locative extensions, to mark the predicate as locative. If the complement is not inherently locative, languages have lexicalized the category ‘locative preposition’ to code the locative complement. In some Chadic languages, subsequent changes have resulted in the replacement of locative predication by narrower semantic categories, such as movement toward a goal, movement from the source, or presence in a place.
Keywords: Chadic, locative predication, types of prepositions, verbal extensions, semantic compatibility
Published online: 01 February 2018
Frajzyngier, Zygmunt & Eric Johnston
Cited by 1 other publications
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