Aspect and Modality in Kwa Languages
This book explores the thesis that in the Kwa languages of West Africa, aspect and modality are more central to the grammar of the verb than tense. Where tense marking has emerged it is invariably in the expression of the future, and therefore concerned with the impending actualization or potentiality of an event, hence with modality, rather than the purely temporal sequencing associated with tense. The primary grammatical contrasts are perfective versus imperfective. The main languages discussed are Akan, Dangme, Ewe, Ga and Tuwuli while Nzema-Ahanta, Likpe and Eastern Gbe are also mentioned. Knowledge about these languages has deepened considerably during the past decade or so and ideas about their structure have changed. The volume therefore presents novel analyses of grammatical forms like the so-called S-Aux-O-V-Other or “future” constructions, and provides empirical data for theorizing about aspect and modality. It should be of considerable interest to Africanist linguists, typologists, and creolists interested in substrate issues.
[Studies in Language Companion Series, 100] 2008. ix, 335 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Abbreviations | pp. vii–viii
Preface | p. ix
IntroductionFelix K. Ameka and Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu | pp. 1–7
The verbal affixes in Akan: Time, tense, aspect and moodL.A. Boadi | pp. 9–68
Akan as an aspectual languageE. Kwekuk Osam | pp. 69–89
Ga verb featuresMary Esther Kropp Dakubu | pp. 91–134
Aspect and modality in Ewe: A surveyFelix K. Ameka | pp. 135–194
The potential in EweJames Essegbey | pp. 195–214
Imperfective constructions: Progressive and prospective in Ewe and DangmeFelix K. Ameka and Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu | pp. 215–289
Tense, aspect and mood in TuwuliMatthew Harley | pp. 291–330
Index | pp. 331–333
List of contributors | p. 335
“The methodological rigour of the analysis carried out by the various authors of the contributions collected in this volume and the solid theoretical premises on which each essay is based compel this much-needed book not only to the attention of scholars and students carrying out comparative work on African languages, but also to that of linguists, typologists and researchers investigating the influence of the West African substrate on Atlantic creoles.”
Fedrica Guerini, in Studies in Language Vol. 33:1, 2009
Cited by 9 other publications
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