Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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The serial verb construction (SVC) is a productive syntactic phenomenon in many Asian and African languages and has been the subject of various studies. Many of these studies are, however, mainly based on data from the individual Asian and African languages or language groups (e.g. Jayaseelan 1996 for Malayalam; Schiller 1991 for Khmer; Chang 1990 for Mandarin; Bodomo 1997, 1998 for Dagaare and Akan; and Awoyale 1988 for Yoruba). There is a near lack of comparative studies involving Asian and African languages with regards to SVCs. Given the wide variety of syntactic and semantic manifestations that are characteristic of SVCs, cross-linguistic studies are crucial in developing a clear universal typology of SVCs as a first step towards a universal account of their syntax and semantics. Based on Dagaare (a Gur language of West Africa) and Cantonese (a Yue dialect of Chinese), this paper proposes a semantic typology of SVCs including benefactive, causative (resultative), inceptive, instrumental, and deictic serialization.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Cantonese/Dagaare; semantics; serial verbs
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