Forms and functions of the base paradigm of Shilluk transitive verbs

Bert Remijsen, Otto Gwado Ayoker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This chapter offers a descriptive analysis of the morphological forms that make up the base paradigm of Shilluk transitive verbs, and also of the functions that are expressed through them. With respect to morphological exponence, tone and vowel length play a central role, both in marking the functions and in distinguishing a total of seven different verb classes. As for the functions, they are syntactic voice, subject marking, and tense-aspect-modality (TAM). These functions interact with one another and with other aspects of the syntax of the clause. For example, Imperfective aspect is only available in Object voice, and certain TAM forms interact with focus marking. We pay special attention to syntactic alignment, a topic on with earlier analyses diverge. Older studies distinguish between active and passive voices (Westermann 1912, Tucker 1955). More recently, the passive has been reinterpreted as an ergative construction (Miller & Gilley 2001). We find that the construction at the center of the controversy has all the morphosyntactic properties of a passive, but not the information-structural characteristics. The scope of this chapter is restricted to the base inflectional paradigm. This means that it does not cover the many derivations which present inflectional paradigms that are largely parallel to the base paradigm. For the sake of clarity and accountability, sound examples are embedded in relation to each of the numbered illustrations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Descriptive Grammar of Shilluk
EditorsBert Remijsen, Otto Gwado Ayoker
Place of PublicationHonolulu
PublisherLanguage Documentation & Conservation
Chapter1
Pages1-80
Number of pages80
ISBN (Print)9780997329529
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameLanguage Documentation & Conservation Special Publication

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