The Kwa languages (Niger-Congo) of West Africa are well-known for displaying Serial Verb Constructions (SVCs). The literature on SVCs contains various definitions of the phenomenon and recapitulates the general observation that these constructions express fine-grained information about a verbal event and the participants involved therein. This paper seeks to shed light on the structure that underlies Kwa SVCs and how this structure allows for the variation in grammars in the individual Kwa languages. The past syntactic literature on SVCs points towards the need of a more finely articulated functional structure within V. This paper adopts the functional sequence of eventive features proposed by Ramchand (2008, 2015) and proposes that the Kwa languages employ SVCs to spell out individual features within this functional sequence thus allowing them to express fine-grained information about a verbal event.
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||Linguistics in Amsterdam|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|