AuthorMugane, John Muratha, 1962-
AdvisorOehrle, Richard T.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation studies Bantu nominalizations drawing evidence primarily from Gikuyu and Bantu languages already in the literature. Gikuyu provides a very rich system of deverbal nouns which brings to the fore issues regarding word and phrase composition of deverbal elements, and the lexical integrity of words. Bantu nominalizations have received little attention in the literature in works such as Myers (1987), Kinyalolo (1991), Bresnan and Mchombo (1995). A very striking aspect of nominalized verbs in Gikuyu, (and Bantu) is that they bear both noun morphology (noun class marking), and verbal morphology (both inflectional and derivational). Deverbal nouns are many in Bantu languages and can not be taken to be idiosyncratic elements, without attempting to discover whether they are subject to principles that explain their large variety and numbers. In this study it is apparent that deverbal nouns do encapsulate the properties of nouns and verbs simultaneously. Upon nominalization Gikuyu shows that we get a set intersection of the properties of N and those of V. These properties are maintained from the sub-lexical level to the phrasal level. I propose that when the sub-lexical source of these nominalizations is established, it becomes apparent why deverbal nouns exhibit split category or mixed category status. This study also employs tests to check distributional and behavioral properties of all the items under scrutiny. I show that there are N/V ambiguous elements (infinitive/gerunds) and a family of mixed N/V elements whose category type can not be uniquely determined. Split and mixed category items challenge conventional premises of analysis which require every word to be associated to some unique category type. I have utilized the idea of Extended Heads in Grimshaw (1991) and Bresnan (1996) and the theory of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG) of Bresnan (1982), to account for the distinction between pure, split, and mixed category elements. Central to the analysis is the association of affixal information on words directly to grammatical function without first relating the affixes to category and projection.
Degree ProgramGraduate College