The participle form of causative verbs in Dangme

Regina Oforiwah Caesar



This paper presents a descriptive analysis of verbs with the participle marking affixes in expressing causatives in Dangme, a language that belongs to the Kwa group of the Niger-Congo family of languages.  The paper examines the syntax and the semantic perspectives of the participialized form of causative verbs in the Role and Reference Grammar’s (RRG) theory in Dangme. The participle is an affix which expresses the completion at the final stage of a process. As a verbal affix, it can take objects and have tense or aspect in languages. They also indicate active agency (actor) and an agency receiving an action (sufferer). Generally affixes that express participial are in two forms: the finite and non-finite categories. Unlike Akan and other languages that have both forms, Dangme has just the non-finite category which of two forms. The two non-finite forms of the verb in Dangme are the participle and the gerund. The gerund affix {-mi} denotes a new word class from verbs in Dangme, (noun). The participle on the other hand has adjective-like characteristics and it is expressed mostly with the front vowels of Dangme: /i, e, ԑ/. It is to be noted that to form the participle in Dangme, two processes are required. Firstly, the verb stem is reduplicated either partially or totally depending on the shape of the verb stem. The reduplicant then selects a front vowel of the same tongue height of the vowel of the verb stem. The words formed imply a process of change caused by a causer. For the purpose of this paper, my focus is on the participial affix used in expressing causative meaning in Dangme.


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