VERB SERIALIZATION AND PREDICATE COMPLEMENTATION IN SARAMACCAN (CREOLE, UNIVERSALS, LANGUAGE, GRAMMAR, SYNTAX, SURINAME).
AuthorBYRNE, FRANCIS, JR.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOne of the most striking features of Saramaccan syntax is the almost categorically finite status of its sentential complements and serial verbs. In fact, a study of these constituents in the language is to primarily observe how characteristics of finite sentential structures are beginning to be lost in certain instances. The first three chapters are largely preliminary in nature. Chapter I briefly introduces Saramaccan, discusses the Government and Binding grammatical model and outlines why it is superior to competing approaches. This chapter also defines many of the pertinent concepts needed for the analyses. Chapter II looks at tense, modality and aspect markers and determines when a +Tense value is possible for a clause. In this context, we find that the complements of perception verbs are finite. The remainder of Chapter II and all of Chapter III determine the dislocation patterns and identifying parameters of various categories. The next three chapters investigate serial structures. In Chapter IV, it is found among other things that complementizer-like fu (from for) and taa 'say, that' are main verbs. Chapter V analyzes the Instrumental, Benefactive and Dative serials. We conclude that the Instrumental and Benefactive are contained within finite clauses, while the Dative serial verb is either an infinitive or has been deleted. Finally in Chapter VI, the many serials discussed exhibit a wide range of features which lead us to believe that some are fully finite, others are infinitives, and one has reanalyzed to another category. It is claimed in the last chapter, based on the evidence, that there is really no difference between sentential complements and serial structures; both are or were finite clauses. In addition, based on the nature of serials reported in the literature for West African languages, Saramaccan appears to be significantly different. This leads to the conclusion that serials spontaneously emerged in Saramaccan during the creolization process rather than being a continuation of such structures from West African languages.