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A semantic analysis of Swahili suffix <i>li</i>

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Abstract

This Columbia School analysis of the Swahili suffix <i>li </i>rests on the distinction between meaning and message, as the proposed hypothesis does not simply categorize message types as previous analyses have done, but rather posits a single meaning which accounts for the various messages to which <i>li </i>contributes. Our hypothesis, unlike others’, accounts for all instances of <i>li</i>, as well as for what has been called “double-<i>li</i>”. The analysis posits a new type of Control meaning. Specifically, <i>li </i>instructs the hearer to interpret a non-high controller at a higher, more potent level of control than if <i>li </i>were not used.

References

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