Duah, R. Akuɔko & Ọbádélé Kambon
Journal of West African Languages, 47(2), 1-22.
Publication year: 2020

In this article, we discuss the syntactic properties and structure of two analytic causative constructions, which we have referred to as the ‘no’ causative and ‘ɔ’ causative, in Akan (Kwa, Niger-Congo). We show that although the two analytic causative constructions have often received a unitary analysis as a serial verb construction (e.g. Osam 1994, 2004; Agyeman 2002; Morrison 2007) they, in fact, exhibit different syntactic behavior and structure in the language. In this vein, we apply Haspelmath’s (2016) definitional criteria for serial verb constructions as a diagnostic for the two causatives and show that while one of the causatives behaves similar to a serial verb construction the other does not but displays clausal embedding. We argue that the ‘no’ causative involves symmetrical sharing of the object marked causee argument by both V1 and V2 similar to what Hiraiwa and Bodomo (2008) proposed for some Dagaare serial verb constructions. Evidence for symmetric sharing of the object comes from adverb placement and reflexivization. The syntactic behavior of causatives in Akan brings to the fore the need for refinements in generalizations about so-called comparative concepts like serial verb constructions because such concepts may not be discreet, compartmentalized categories but may be distributed along a continuum.

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Call for Support!

June 16th the Kambon family had a major family emergency.  Dr. Kambon’s wife Kala and children were involved in a serious car accident and admitted to the hospital.   All are doing well and recovering.

The family’s only mode of transportation was totaled in the accident.

We are asking for the support of Abibitumi family to assist the Kambon family during this trying time.    

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