Verb Extensions and Syntax

 

In Tseeyo, verb extensions can be used to increase or decrease the valency of a verb.  The verbal arguments are not overtly marked by phonology, with case markings for example, but syntactic properties serve to place the arguments in the specific thematic roles indicated by the use of specific verb extension morphemes.

 

The phonological shape of individual verb extension morphemes is subject to phonotactics given certain parameters.  These are discussed in the section on verbs.  The form of the extension is specified for each of the examples given below.

 

  1. Sentences with simple (non-auxiliary) verb constructions have the structure SVO1(O2).
    1. Non-extended verbs

(Note: The default verbal TAM form is Perfective.)

                                                              i.      The primary object directly follows the verb.

 

1.     Non-extended ditransitive verb

u ká mí ḿbɔé.

he give me NM.knife

[Agent Verb Recipient Patient]

he gave me a knife.”

(the verb ‘give’ – – is tonally irregular)

 

b.     Extended verbs

                                                              i.      The argument introduced by the extension directly follows the verb.

 

1.     Applicative extension: -naŋ

u kánaŋ sɔma mí ḿbɔé.

he give.APP NAME me NM.knife

[Agent Verb Beneficiary Recipient Patient]

“He gave me a knife for Soma.”

 

2.     Comitative extension: -ma

u káma sɔma mí ḿbɔé.

he give.COM NAME me NM.knife

[Agent Verb Companion Recipient Patient]

“He along with Soma gave me a knife.”

 

3.     Locative extension: -dó

u kádó sɔma mí ḿbɔé.

he give.LOC NAME me NM.knife

[Agent Verb Source Recipient Patient]

“He gave me a knife from Soma.”

 

                                                             ii.      Secondary objects of extended verbs immediately follow the primary object.

 

1.     Non-extended verb

sɔma kol masia.

NAME drink NM.orange (non-extended verb)

[Agent Verb Patient]

"Soma drank an orange."

 

2.     Applicative extension: -[nd]

sɔma kondaŋ kɛ́yá masia.

NAME drink.APP NAME NM.orange (extended verb)

[Agent Verb Beneficiary Patient]

“Soma drank an orange [with reference to] Keyah."

(Depending on context, this could have any of the following meanings):

"Soma drank an orange for Keyah."

or - "Soma drank an orange while Keyah watched."

or - "Keyah saw Soma drink an orange."

or – "Keyah knew that Soma was drinking an orange."

or even - "Soma drank an orange in honor of Keyah."

 

                                                           iii.      Locative words are treated as primary objects with the LOC verb extension.

 

1.     Locative extension: -

u hundó ńcɛ.

she come.LOC NM.field  

[Agent Verb Locative]

“She came from the field.”

(Note: Direction of motion is inherent in many verbs)

 

2.     Locative extension: -

u cuwodó ńcɛ tsawɔŋ.

she bring.LOC NM.field NM.yam

[Agent Verb Locative Patient]

“She brought the yams from the field.”

 

                                                          iv.      Objects with with multiply extended verbs observe the following hierarchy:

Animate > Locative > Inanimate

 

1.     Applicative + Locative extensions: -[ɔ]ŋndó

u cuwɔŋndó mí ńcɛ tsawɔŋ.

she bring.APP.LOC me NM.field NM.yam

[Agent Verb Beneficiary Locative Patient]

“She fetches yams for me from the field.”

 

                                                            v.      When there are more than one animate object the following hierarchy is observed:

Object of Applicative (Benificiary) > Object of Locative (Source) > Object of Comitative (Companion)

 

1.     Applicative + Comitative + Locative extensions: -[ɔ]ŋmadó

sɔma cuwɔŋmadó yámbá kéyá tsawɔŋ.

NAME bring.APP.COM.LOC me NAME NAME NM.yam

[Agent Verb Beneficiary Source Companion Patient]

“Soma along with Keyah fetched some yams for me from Yambah.”

 

  1. Sentences with auxiliary verb constructions have the structure SAuxO1(O2)V.
    1. Auxiliaries cannot be extended, only main verbs.
    2. Non-extended main verbs

                                                              i.      The patient of non-extended verbs directly follows the auxiliary.

 

1.     Non-extended verb

(Note: Main verb takes noun class concord with the patient, glossed as ‘NC’.)

u ́ ovisi yaawo.

she AUX.go NM.meat cook.NC

[Agent AUX Patient Verb]

“She is going to cook the meat.”

 

    1. Extended main verbs

                                                              i.      The argument introduced by the extension directly follows the auxiliary.

 

1.     Applicative extension: –naŋ

u kɔ́ mí ovisi yaanaŋwo.

she AUX.go me NM.meat cook.APP.NC

[Agent AUX Beneficiary Patient Verb]

“She is going to cook the meat for me.”

 

2.     Comitative extension: –ma–

u kɔ́ yámbá ovisi yaamawo.

she AUX.go NAME NM.meat cook.COM.NC

[Agent AUX Companion Patient Verb]

“She along with Yambah is(are) going to cook the meat.”

 

3.     Locative extension: –

u kɔ́ sɔma ovisi yaadówo.

she AUX.go NAME NM.meat cook.LOC.NC

[Agent AUX Source Patient Verb]

“She is going to cook the meat (obtained) from Soma.”

 

                                                             ii.      Objects with with multiply extended main verbs observe the same hierarchy:

Animate > Locative > Inanimate

 

1.     Applicative + Locative extensions: -[ɔ]ŋndó

u kɔ́ mí ńcɛ tsawɔŋ cuwɔŋndótsa.

she AUX.go me NM.field NM.yam bring.APP.LOC.NC

[Agent AUX Beneficiary Locative Patient Verb]

“She is going to fetch me yams from the field.”

 

                                                           iii.      When there are more than one animate object the expected hierarchy is observed:

Object of Applicative (Benificiary) > Object of Locative (Source) > Object of Comitative (Companion)

 

1.     Applicative + Comitative + Locative extensions: -[ɔ]ŋmadó

sɔma kɔ́ mí yámbá kéyá tsawɔŋ cuwɔŋmadótsa.

NAME AUX me NAME NAME NM.yam bring.APP.COM.LOC.NC

[Agent AUX Beneficiary Source Companion Patient Verb]

“Soma along with Keyah is going to fetch some yams for me from Yambah.”

 

  1. These and other relationships can also be indicated using circumpositions.