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      Deverbal and deadjectival nominalization in Dan: Not as different as one might think. A reply to Baker & Gondo (2020)

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      Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
      Open Library of the Humanities

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          Abstract

          The paper (Baker & Gondo 2020) studies several issues in Dan morphosyntax: the formal differences between verbs, nouns and adjectives; two types of possessive constructions (with alienable and inalienable head nouns) and their syntactic structures; the derivation of nouns from verbs and adjectives; low and high nominalization; and possessive constructions with deverbal and deadjectival nouns. As it turns out, Baker & Gondo’s analyses are incorrect in some major points: the key formal differences between verbs, adjectives and nouns have been left unnoticed due to disregard for Dan tonal morphology, and for the same reason, the tonal marking of the high nominalization has also been ignored. Baker & Gondo’s syntactic analysis of the possessive construction with alienable nouns as analogous to the Saxon genitive (king’s house) cannot be accepted; in fact, it can be compared with the genitive construction seen in English the house of the king. Possessive constructions with deverbal and deadjectival nouns are not as radically opposed as one may think after reading Baker & Gondo’s paper; in fact, a noun derived from an intransitive verb can sometimes appear as an alienable noun with respect to its theme, and, conversely, a deadjectival noun can appear as a relational noun with respect to the modified noun.

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          2. Historical linguistics and genealogical language classification in Africa

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            Possession and nominalization in Dan: Evidence for a general theory of categories

            Dan, a Mandean language of the Ivory Coast, marks the alienable possessors of simple nonrelational nouns differently from the inalienable possessors of relational nouns: only the former occur with the particle ɓa . This difference also shows up in nominalizations. When a verb is nominalized, its theme argument is expressed like the possessor of a relational noun, without ɓa , whereas when an adjective is nominalized, its theme argument is expressed like the possessor of a nonrelational noun, with ɓa . We show that this generalization holds for both a low type of nominalization, in which the nominalizer combines directly with the root before that root combines with any arguments, and for a high type of nominalization, in which the nominalizer combines with a larger phrase. We account for this difference between deverbal nominalization and deadjectival nominalization using Baker’s ( 2003 ) theory of the lexical categories, according to which verbs intrinsically combine directly with a theme argument, whereas adjectives do not, but only become predicates of a theme argument with the help of a functional head Pred. This theory also accounts for the fact that denominal nouns like ‘childhood’ pattern with deadjectival nominalizations in this respect. This study thus provides new empirical support for Baker’s theory of lexical categories, as opposed to theories which assume a stronger parallelism across the various lexical categories.
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              Afrikanskij Sbornik – 2011 (Африканский сборник – 2011) [African Collection – 2011]

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Open Library of the Humanities
                2397-1835
                January 4 2021
                October 7 2021
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]INALCO
                Article
                10.16995/glossa.5852
                ef1e0fe6-d0f2-4cb8-80dc-9e422f547800
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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                Self URI (article page): https://www.glossa-journal.org/article/id/5852/

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