Iconicity in Verb Serialisation. Re-analyzing Akan SVCs
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The extant works on serial verb constructions (SVCs) in the Akan language categorize verb serialization into clause chaining (CC) and integrated serial verb (ISV) constructions based on the notion of the degree of semantic integration. Following these lines of research, this thesis explored the phenomenon and reanalyzed it using iconicity principles. It has been argued in this thesis that iconicity is the motivating factor for SVCs. Iconicity embodies the idea that linguistic form, length and complexity mirrors that of real life experience. The aim of this thesis was to show that iconicity principles are the motivating factors of SVCs in Akan. This is because with iconicity principles we are able to give a systematic explanation to verb serialization in Akan as compared to the degree of semantic integration. In the context of the Bono dialect of Akan, we reanalyzed some of the existing data on SVCs. It has been revealed that CC constructions are motivated by iconicity of sequential order while ISV constructions are motivated by iconicity of proximity. It has also been revealed that the two categories differ by their degree of complexity and indeed iconicity of complexity is the fundamental motivating factor. We believe that iconicity principles offer a more systematic explanation to the two categories of serial verb constructions in Akan than the one offered in the literature. Our findings indicate that when events occur simultaneously their order in CC does not follow temporal precedence. The thesis therefore recommends that further research be conducted to investigate the effect of the verb types that participate in CC constructions on their sequential order, especially in concurrent and intermittent events. This research further recommends language researchers to re-investigate other language phenomena with other theories since it is believed that all language theories play complimentary role to the analysis of language, and without a doubt certain theories explain some phenomena better than others.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
- Linguistics 62