A comparative and historical study of locative-based periphrastic verbal forms in Fula dialects

Josh Ard


This paper is an investigation of periphrastic verbal constructions developed from locative expressions in Fula. First, a comparison of relevant features in the verbal systems of nine Fula dialects is given. Second, the dynamics of the verbal system of Fula is reconstructed through an analysis of these data. It is shown that the most significant and linguistically relevant aspects of the
developments were several semantic shifts, some motivated by the appearance of new items in the verbal paradigm which led to changes in the status of existing items. An explanation of the direction and nature of these changes is offered. This explanation requires the notion of a prototype, as developed by Rosch [1973J, and thereby argues for its utility in modelling semantic changes. Moreover, implications of these results for aspectual theory are presented.

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