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Dàgáárè complex constructions: Serial verb constructions, multi-aspectual constructions and coordination

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The Serial Verb Construction (SVC) phenomenon is widely researched across many languages. It is generally regarded as a construction in which two or more verbs share the same arguments within a single clause. The verbs in the series must share some grammatical properties such as tense, aspect and polarity. However, there is a verb sequence construction in Dàgáárè that shows apparent similarities to SVCs but with different values for aspect on the verbs. This paper investigates the internal structure of Dàgáárè SVCs and other verb sequence constructions such as multi-aspectual constructions (MACs) and coordinate structures. Applying a variety of syntactic and semantic tests, the paper distinguishes SVCs from MACs and coordination and shows the relation between MACs and coordination. Based on the results of the tests, I argue that although MACs have some properties of SVCs, they are not SVCs. Rather; I conclude that MACs pattern with coordination or covert coordination in Dàgáárè and they are perceived to express distinct events.




first person






Aspect Phrase









Directional particle












Multi-Aspectual Construction












Polarity Phrase



Post-/ Pre- positional Phrase















Serial Verb Construction



Tense Phrase






Voice Phrase



Verb Phrase


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Published Online: 2019-12-10
Published in Print: 2019-12-18

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