The Syntax and Semantics of the Benefactive Applicative in Temne


The benefactive applicative in Temne is typologically unusual for an applicative in that it has a variable, but regular syntactic effect on the valence of the verb. It can add one applied object, a beneficiary or an instrument, and two applied objects, a beneficiary and a substitutive or a beneficiary and an instrument to the valence of the verb. Semantically, the benefactive applicative has several meanings. In this paper, I examine the semantic and syntactic effects of combining the benefactive applicative with a verb in Temne. Building on Kanu 2016, 2012, 2004, I demonstrate that the benefactive applicative combines with all verb types, and has the syntactic effect of adding up to two applied objects to the valence of the verb. Semantically, I illustrate, using Langacker's (1978) 'network model of polysemy', that the benefactive applicative is a polysemous suffix combining with various schemas that are closely related. References Kanu, S.M. (2016). Grammatical Relations in Temne. Presentation at The International Academic Forum, Dubai Conference Series 2016 (27-29 March 2016). Kanu, S.M. (2012). Valence-Increasing Morphology in Temne (doctoral dissertation, University of Alberta, retrievable from: Kanu, S. M. (2004). Verbal morphology of Temne. Master's thesis, University of Tromsø, Norway. Langacker, R. W. (1987). Foundations of cognitive grammar. Volume 1: Theoretical prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Author Information
Sullay Mohamed Kanu, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates

Paper Information
Conference: IICLLDubai2017
Stream: Linguistics

This paper is part of the IICLLDubai2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon