Argobba verb morphology and syntax : a documentation with head-driven phrase structure grammaras analytic framework
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This study investigates the morphology and syntax of Argobba verbs. The term Argobba signifies both the people and the language. The Argobba people live in different regional states in Ethiopia. The Argobba language is a member of the South Ethio-Semitic subgroup and is one of the seriously endangered languages in the country. It is a syntactically head-final and morphologically complex language. The dissertation is organized in eleven chapters. The presentation in each chapter follows the pattern data and descriptive analysis first followed by a formal analysis. Chapter 1 provides introductory information about the Argobba people, the language, previous work on the language, a short note on the phonology of the language, the basic word order of the language and the status of the language. Chapter 2 reviews some aspects of HPSG, the theoretical framework adopted for the study. Chapter 3 addresses the morphology of the non-verbal categories, which comprise noun, adjective, determiner and adposition. Chapter 4, which is organized in nine sections, explores the verb morphology focusing on root, stem formation, derivation and inflection. Like in other Semitic languages, the input in the verbal stem formation process is the consonantal root, and verbal stems are formed by vowel specification between radicals. The verbal stems obligatorily require subject agreement affixes to derive verbal words. Chapter 5 examines verb phrase structures by identifying verbal heads and different non-head constituents depending on their syntactic function and syntactic property of the verbal heads. Chapter 6 deals with the causative structures of the language. The chapter provides the data and descriptive analysis followed by an HPSG analysis. In its final section, it addresses the semantics of the causative structures. Chapter 7 treats the passive constructions by providing basic data and an analysis in HPSG formalism, addressing morphologically related structures and passives and morphological causatives. Chapter 8 explores anaphora. It provides theoretical assumptions as a background, and morphological and syntactic analyses of personal pronouns, reflexives and reciprocals. Chapter 9, which deals with the relative clause structures, identifies different types of relative clause constructions followed by an HPSG analysis of the respective types. Chapter 10, which is on negation, has three sections which respectively address the negative marker, n-words and formal analysis. Finally, Chapter 11 summarizes the discussion and the main findings of the study.