Verbal Extensions

Valency Decreasing Extensions in The Basà Language

Authors

  • Philip Manda Imoh Nasarawa University
  • David Abraham Areo Nasarawa University
  • Philip Daniel Moles Nasarawa University
  • Isah Gambo Nasarawa University

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Philip Manda Imoh, Nasarawa University

Philip Manda Imoh is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, Nasarawa University, Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. His research interests are morphology, syntax, morpho-syntax, phonology and African Linguistics. 

David Abraham Areo, Nasarawa University

David Abraham Areo is Lecturer I at the Department of Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, Nasarawa University Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. His research interests are language shift and sociolinguistics.

Philip Daniel Moles, Nasarawa University

Philip Daniel Moles is Lecturer I at the Department of English and Literary Studies, Faculty of Arts, Nasarawa University Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. His research interests are African literature, language endangerment.

Isah Gambo, Nasarawa University

Bio Statement: Isah Gambo is Lecturer I at the Department of Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, Nasarawa University Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. His research interests are Hausa linguistics and sociolinguistics.

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Published

2017-12-12

How to Cite

Imoh, P. M., Areo, D. A., Moles, P. D., & Gambo, I. (2017). Verbal Extensions: Valency Decreasing Extensions in The Basà Language. Ghana Journal of Linguistics, 6(2), 15-29. Retrieved from https://laghana.org/gjl/index.php/gjl/article/view/133