Change of state in Kinyarwanda: A study in root meaning

Kyle Jerro


I investigate the paradigms of change of state verb roots in Kinyarwanda, comparing the simple state, inchoative, causative, and result state members of 81 root paradigms. I show that the morphological shape of the causative/inchoative members of the paradigm and whether there is a simple state term are both contingent upon root semantics. Certain change of state roots in Kinyarwanda lack simple state meanings and always give rise to change entailments; this correlates with the lack of the simple state in the paradigm. I further show that verb meaning also partially determines which of several derivational strategies are used by a given change of state paradigm. 


lexical semantics, syntax, morphology, change of state, verb meaning

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