Masters thesis on postural and directional verbs in Äiwoo is available online


This thesis studies verbs used in locative sentences in Äiwoo. When describing the location of inanimate entities, speakers of Äiwoo must choose either the existential verb or a proper posture verb. Judging from data collected through elicitation tests, posture verbs are used to denote objects with a spatial configuration, orientation, and/or elongation that resembles the postures of human beings and animals denoted by the same verbs. This conforms to data from several other languages, and supports the view that the use of posture verbs to describe inanimate entities is a metaphorical extension of the use of the same verbs to describe human and animal posture. The existential verb is used when a posture verb is not applicable. There are also verbs encoding motion and the path of the movement. Morphological causative transitive verb forms can be derived from some of the posture and motion and path verbs. The causative meaning of verbs that do not form morphological causatives are described by lexical causatives. Posture verbs, causative verbs, and motion and path verbs combine in serial verb constructions on the nuclear and core layer of the clause structure. The distribution and function of the different types of verbs combined in a nuclear layer serial verb construction can be described in terms of positional slots. Two or three verbs can combine in nuclear layer serial verb constructions, where the initial verb carries the main meaning, modified by the second and third verb. Verbs combined in core layer serial verb constructions can either share one or both arguments.

PDF: Frostad, Benedicte Haraldstad. 2006. Syntactic and Semantic Aspects of Some Verbs of Motion and Location in Äiwoo, Oslo: Master of Arts Thesis, Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian studies, University of Oslo.


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