A Grammar of Fongbe by Brousseau, Anne-Marie; Lefebvre, Claire

By Brousseau, Anne-Marie; Lefebvre, Claire

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Extra resources for A Grammar of Fongbe

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As in several West African languages, compounding is a very productive morphological process in Fongbe (chapter 9). Fongbe compounds involve nouns almost exclusively. Compound nominals are of two basic types: primary compounds and synthetic compounds. The properties of Fongbe verbs are extensively discussed in chapter 10. The following features are particularly interesting. Although Fongbe has monadic, diadic and ditransitive verbs, the bulk of the verbal lexicon consists of diadic verbs. On the basis of syntactic tests, it is possible to distinguish unergative verbs from unaccusative verbs.

These data are discussed in chapter 5. The main features of the functional categories involved in the structure of the clause (discussed in chapter 6) are the following. There are two forms used to conjoin clauses, which also serve as complementisers. The mood marker ni 'may/must/should', the preposition nu 'for* and the verb φ 'to say' may also serve as complementisers. Fongbe has an overt nominal operator occurring in relative and factive clauses, a rare phenomenon among the languages of the world.

Of particular interest as well are the pied-piping phenomena observed in relative and factive clauses where fronted oblique complements pied-pipe (or bring along) their postposition. Furthermore, in these constructions, the fronted postpositions cliticise onto an overt nominal operator. The overt nominal operator may also attract other types of lexical material. The language offers various options for encoding factive, purposive, causal, temporal, conditional and concessive clauses. The role of the definite determiner (occurring in nominal structures) in these clauses, the manifestation of verb doubling phenomena in temporal adverbial, causal adverbial, factive and predicate cleft constructions, as well as the semantic interpretation facts associated with factive clauses, are at the heart of the grammar of the Fongbe language.

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