Chapter in:Grammatical and Sociolinguistic Aspects of Ethiopian Languages
Edited by Derib Ado, Almaz Wasse Gelagay and Janne Bondi Johannessen †
[IMPACT: Studies in Language, Culture and Society 48] 2021
► pp. 197–212
Serial verb constructions in Sezo
Serial verb constructions in Sezo are formed by simple juxtaposition of two or three verbs without any marker of coordination or subordination. The components of a serial verb construction are always contiguous and do not allow syntactic constituents to intervene between them. They form one intonational group and do not allow multiple marking of grammatical features, such as subject, tense, polarity and other syntactic dependency markers. All serial verb constructions attested in Sezo are asymmetrical because they always consist of one major verb and one or two minor verbs. The major verb which comes from a semantically and grammatically unrestricted class of verbs is always the main verb. The minor verb is either a motion or a posture verb and encodes directional (deictic), valency changing or aspectual information. The minor verbs cannot be treated as auxiliaries, because they are able to occur as lexical verbs outside serial verb constructions.
Keywords: Sezo, serial verb construction, asymmetrical serial verb, major verb, minor verb, direction, valency, aspect
Ahland, Michel B.
Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.
Bender, Marvin L.
CSA (Central Statistical Authority)
Dixon, Robert M. W.
Fleming, Harold C.
Foley, W. A. & Olson, M.