Valency and transitivity in contact: evidence from Cameroon Pidgin English

Green, Melanie and Ozon, Gabriel (2019) Valency and transitivity in contact: evidence from Cameroon Pidgin English. Journal of Language Contact, 12 (1). pp. 52-88. ISSN 1877-4091

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We explore valency and transitivity patterns in Cameroon Pidgin English (cpe) from a language contact perspective, with particular focus on (a) lexical and (b) constructional phenomena. With respect to (a), many verbs of English origin surface in cpe with additional senses and valency properties to those they display in the lexifier, illustrating the drive towards polysemy in a language with a relatively small lexicon. We also describe category change, whereby English non-verbal expressions (typically adjectives) emerge as verbs in cpe. In terms of (b), verbs undergo valency changes as a consequence of participation in productive serial verb constructions. These constructions are built around a small set of high-frequency verbs, some of which also occur in the light verb construction, which represents another strategy for the creation of complex predicates. We review the evidence for constructional substrate influence. The data under discussion are drawn from two small corpora of spoken cpe.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0101 Language. Linguistic theory. Comparative grammar
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania > PL8000 African languages and literature
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Depositing User: Melanie Green
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 14:55
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 15:51
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