Article published in:Advances in Functional Linguistics: Columbia School beyond its origins
Edited by Joseph Davis, Radmila J. Gorup and Nancy Stern
[Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 57] 2006
► pp. 223–237
A semantic analysis of Swahili suffix li
This Columbia School analysis of the Swahili suffix li rests on the distinction between meaning and message, as the proposed hypothesis does not simply categorize message types as previous analyses have done, but rather posits a single meaning which accounts for the various messages to which li contributes. Our hypothesis, unlike others’, accounts for all instances of li, as well as for what has been called “double-li”. The analysis posits a new type of Control meaning. Specifically, li instructs the hearer to interpret a non-high controller at a higher, more potent level of control than if li were not used.
Published online: 20 December 2006