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Title: A descriptive grammar of Efutu (southern Ghana) with a focus on serial verb constructions : a language documentation study
Author: Agyeman, Nana Ama
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 7299
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis presents a language-documentation-based description of aspects of the grammar of Efutu (Niger-Congo, Kwa, Southern-Guan), spoken in Winneba, a coastal town in the Central Region of Ghana, West Africa, by a group of fisherfolks. The thesis is in two parts. As the language is previously under-studied, the first part presents a general description of the basic phonology, morphology and syntax. Topics in the first part therefore include the sound system (vowels and consonants), tone, and some prominent phonological processes (vowel harmony, homorganic nasal assimilation); parts of speech; and tense, aspect, mood and negation. Part two focuses on serial verb constructions (SVCs), a prominent feature identified in the grammar of Efutu. SVCs from the documentation corpus are analysed using a set of criteria that help to classify them into groups. The methodology of such an analysis is considered to be data-driven. In addition to the data-driven methodology, a typological classification from Aikhenvald (2006) is adopted as a complementary approach to the analysis, especially, regarding the classification of SVCs. Various semantic types of SVCs, categorised as compositionally symmetrical or asymmetrical are identified and analysed. The means by which SVCs are used in expressing various meanings and functions in the grammar of the language are examined in some detail. Other properties of the SVCs, such as argument sharing and marking of grammatical categories, are also analysed. The documentation of the language mainly involves audio and video recordings of various speech and cultural events, as well as still photos and some texts, all generated through fieldwork totalling approximately fifteen months at three different stages. The recorded materials have been annotated (transcribed, translated, glossed, commented) in collaboration with native speakers in the field. The annotated corpus is then used as a basis for the description of the grammar of the language in this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral