An intragenetic typology of Kwa serial verb constructions

Andrey Shluinsky 1
  • 1 Institut jazykoznanija Rossijskoj akademii nauk, Bol'šoj Kislovskij per., 1 s.1, 125009, Moskva, Russia
Andrey Shluinsky
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  • Institut jazykoznanija Rossijskoj akademii nauk, Bol'šoj Kislovskij per., 1 s.1, 125009, Moskva, Russia
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This article presents the results of an intragenetic crosslinguistic study of serial verb constructions (SVCs) in Kwa. Based on a sample of 28 Kwa languages, the article examines the crucial morphosyntactic features of Kwa SVCs and the range of meanings of the two most common grammaticalized types of Kwa SVCs, ‘take’ and ‘give’ SVCs. The morphosyntactic features of SVCs considered include unity of subject, unity of TAM, unity of negation, and absence of an overt marker of a syntactic relation. The three types of ‘take’ SVCs – lative ‘take’ SVCs, instrumental ‘take’ SVCs, and objectal ‘take’ SVCs – are treated separately. Uses of different types of ‘take’ SVCs and of ‘give’ SVCs turn out to be subject to implicational cross-Kwa restrictions that are formulated via hierarchies or semantic maps. Significant crosslinguistic variation is discovered, and it is argued that sometimes the similarities between Kwa languages can be most naturally explained by independent development.

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Linguistic Typology publishes research on linguistic diversity and unity. It welcomes articles that report empirical findings about crosslinguistic variation, advance our understanding of the patterns of diversity, or refine typological methodology.