Morphology and its interfaces: Syntax, semantics and the lexicon
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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Determining the morphosyntactic status of verbal constructions is an enduring issue in African linguistics. In Wolof, most verbal constructions are split predicate constructions involving a predicative marker, which encodes the greater part of the grammatical content, and a verb, which contributes to the lexical content. The aim of the current paper is to investigate the morphosyntactic status of these complex predicates. Based on several kinds of criteria (phonology, morphology and semantics), I show that the predicative markers must be analysed as phonologically dependent words (clitics). Thus, Wolof complex predicates clearly display syntactic construction features and cannot therefore be considered as morphological units.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): clitics; complex predicates; morphology-syntax interface; Wolof
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