Valency Decreasing Extensions in The Basà Language
This work investigates verbal extensions that affect the valency of verbs in the Basà language (Western Kainji). It focuses on verbal inflections that result in the reduction of the verb’s valency by one argument with regard to the basic structure. This current study attempts to investigate the morphosyntactic effects of reciprocal and reflexive affixes in the Basà sentences. The significance of this work hinges on the fact that no known work has described these processes in Basà. The language is endangered because its native speakers neglect speaking it in favour of English and Hausa. Furthermore, there is dearth of information on Basà, especially in areas of morphology and syntax, which are basic to the study of language. This study will therefore attempt to fill this existing gap in the literature. In addition to the native intuitions of one of the researchers, as a native speaker of the Basà language, data collected for this work include discourse observation, staged and elicited spoken data from fluent native speakers. It was found in the study that affixes attached to the verb root result in deriving an intransitive verb from a transitive one, and a transitive verb from a bi- or ditransitive. Both operations are triggered by verbal extensions and move the internal argument (object) to the subject position. The derived structure, therefore, is headed by a complex noun phrase but the verb no longer subcategorizes an internal argument. The work explores the morphosyntax of Basà verbs and serves as a springboard for this aspect of Basà morphosyntax. It also contributes to the morphosyntactic literature.
How to Cite
The Ghana Journal of Linguistics is published by the Linguistics Association of Ghana, P. O. Box LG61, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
© Linguistics Association of Ghana and individual authors, 2020.