Printer Friendly

Emai's Variable Coding of Adjuncts.

1. Introduction (1)

The adjunct/argument distinction is widely recognized in language description and explanation. It is most often associated with a syntactic criterion; nonetheless, the semantic nature of adjuncts and arguments has drawn some attention (Matthews 1981, 2007, Croft 2001). For the languages of sub-Saharan Africa, adjunct and argument have received minimal scrutiny. Watters (2000) notes that adjuncts (X) generally follow objects (O) in SVOX languages, while in SOV languages they either precede V (SXOV) or follow V (SOVX).

For this paper, we explore adjunct structures in Emai, a West Benue Congo language within southern Nigeria's Edoid group (Elugbe 1989, Williamson and Blench 2000). Typologically, Emai is relatively strict SVO with lexical and grammatical tone but little inflectional morphology and few prepositions (Schaefer and Egbokhare 1999, 2007, to appear). Word order is pervasive as a marker of grammatical relations. Regarding clause structure, Emai is characterized by simple predicates as well as complex predicates consisting of verbs in series, verbs in construction with postverbal particles, and verbs in series with verbs and postverbal particles (Schaefer and Egbokhare 2010). In addition, Emai shows an extensive array of preverbs (Schaefer and Egbokhare 2000), many of them adverb like, that affect interpretation of clausal event (che 'again,' ya 'almost,' duu 'for no reason,' kakegbe 'perseveringly,' kpao 'initially') or a core participant (zemi 'very many,' gba 'together'). (2)

2. Adjunct Character

Croft (2001) reviews a number of criteria proposed to distinguish adjuncts from arguments. The classic syntactic criterion holds that adjunct constituents are optional while arguments are obligatory. This seems relatively straightforward. In (1a-b), an adjunct (e.g. in the park) is peripheral to its associated verb, since it can be omitted without consequence to grammaticalness. In contrast, arguments (George, the dog) are obligatory relative to their predicate; argument omission results in ungrammaticality (1a-c).

(1a) George chased the dog in the park.

(1b) George chased the dog.

(1c) *George chased in the park.

Questions arising from Croft's analysis and illustration are no doubt multiple. Two, however, concern us. One is whether the distributional potential that characterizes locative (i.e. in the park), applies equally to other adjunct types, for instance those expressing temporality (for the afternoon in 2a) or manner (clumsily in 2b).

(2a) George chased the dog for the afternoon.

(2b) George chased the dog clumsily.

A second focuses on whether all adjunct types lead to consistent morphosyntactic expression across canonical and noncanonical clause types. (3)

Directing these questions toward Emai, we find that adjuncts in clause types differing as to discourse function attract nonuniform coding. Some adjunct types across canonical and noncanonical clauses occur as either head of a phrase or as complement in a phrase headed by a verb. Other adjuncts are coded more variably. In canonical declarative clauses, they appear in postverbal position unmarked by a verb, but in one or more noncanonical clause types, e.g. imperative, interrogative or contrastive focus, their clause requires a verb otherwise latent. As an initial sample of this variability, we present Table 1. It reveals that outside of manner, which is consistently unmarked by a verb, and reason, which is consistently verb marked (by re), adjuncts with a locative or temporal character require, in addition to a main verb, a latent verb such as re or za. (4)

3. Emai Adjuncts and Arguments

Argument types in Emai exhibit rather consistent distributional behavior compared to the more variable nature of adjuncts. A direct object argument (oran 'wood'), whose grammatical relation is morphologically unmarked but syntactically indicated by word order, follows a transitive verb such as hian 'cut' (3a). Verbs like hian also occur in series with a transitive verb such as re 'take,' which precedes its obligatory direct object argument (opia 'cutlass,' 3b-c). Both arguments relate to an overall event of cutting.
(3a) oje  hian     oran. /  *oje  hian.
     Oje  PRP.cut  wood     Oje   PRP.cut
     'Oje cut wood. / Oje cut.'

(3b) oje  re        opia     hian  oran.
     Oje  PRP.take  cutlass  cut   wood
     'Oje used a cutlass to cut wood.'

(3c) *oje  re        hian  oran.
     Oje   PRP.take  cut   wood
     'Oje cut wood.'

As well, intransitive verbs in series such as za 'be located' and se 'move up to, as far as, reach, extend to' precede their obligatory arguments marked by locative preposition vbi (4a-b).
(4a) oje  za              vbi  afuze'  shan  se          vbi  oke.
     Oje  LOC  Afuze   walk  LOC  Oke
     'Oje walked from Afuze to Oke.'

(4b) *oje  za              shan  se          vbi  oke.
     Oje  walk  LOC  Oke
     'Oje walked to Oke.'

Emai adjunct types display some distributional consistency across clauses as well. In canonical declaratives they prototypically occupy postpredicate position following an intransitive verb or direct object of a transitive verb. As constituents adjuncts occur either unmarked or marked by preposition vbi. Unmarked are temporal deictic adjuncts (ode 'yesterday' 5a) and temporal quantity adjunct phrases (ikpede eea 'for three days' 5b). Marked by vbi are temporal ordinal adjunct phrases (ukpede li ozeea 'on the third day' 5c) and locative adjuncts (ime 'farm' 5d).
(5a) oje  hian'    oran  ode.
     Oje  PAP.cut  wood  yesterday
     'Oje cut wood yesterday.'

(5b) oje  hian'    oran  ikpede  eea.
     Oje  PAP.cut  wood  days    three
     'Oje cut wood for three days.'

(5c) oje  hian'    oran  vbi  ukpede  li  ozeea.
     Oje  PAP.cut  wood  LOC  day     R   third
     'Oje cut wood on the third day.'

(5d) oje  hian'    oran  vbi  ime.
     Oje  PAP.cut  wood  LOC  farm
     'Oje cut wood on the farm.'

A distinguishing feature of adjuncts, as opposed to arguments, is their tonal impact on a preceding constituent. Relative to a preceding verb argument (oran), Emai adjuncts activate high tone spread starting at argument right edge, as in oran ode (5 a) versus oran (3 a). Nonadverb constituents following a verb argument do not activate high tone spread however. In (3b), where verb hian follows argument opia, high tone

spread is not activated. Verbs in series thus do not trigger high tone spread. In addition, postverbal particles that follow a direct object argument do not activate high tone spread (6a-c), as shown by right edge low tone of ui 'rope' preceding Terminative lee 'already, finish,' Change of Location o or Applicative li.
(6a) oje  hian     oli  ui    lee.
     Oje  PRP.cut  the  rope  TERM
     'Oje finished cutting the rope / already cut the rope.'

(6b) oje  hian     oli  ui    o   vbi  eva.
     Oje  PRP.cut  the  rope  CL  LOC  two
     'Oje cut the rope into two.'

(6c) oje  hian     oli  ui    li   ohi.
     Oje  PRP.cut  the  rope  APP  Ohi
     'Oje cut the rope for Ohi.'

An important feature of nondeclarative clauses containing Emai adjuncts pertains to their potential for variable coding. In information question clauses, temporal deictic adjuncts represented by ode 'yesterday,' for example, correspond to an interrogative proform (eghe 'when'). Their predicate phrase requires the verb re 'take' as the initial verb in series (7), despite the fact that re never occurs in the corresponding declarative clause, cf. (5a). (5)
(7) eghe  oje  re'       hian  oli  oran?
    time  Oje  PAP.take  cut   the  wood
    'When did Oje cut the wood?'


A similar condition holds for a vbi marked adjunct of place. In transitive declaratives, where a locative adjunct follows a verb and its direct object, place marking is signaled by preposition vbi (5d). In information questions, where the locative corresponds to a fronted interrogative proform, the verb za 'be located' occurs in the matrix clause and precedes other verbs in series. Thus in declarative (8a), ime 'farm' appears in postverbal position preceded by preposition vbi; no za marks it. However, when adjunct ime corresponds to an interrogative proform (ebe' 'where'), za is obligatory in the predicate phrase (8b).
(8a) oje  hian'    oran  vbi  ime.
     Oje  PAP.cut  wood  LOC  farm
     'Oje cut wood on the farm.'

(8b) ebe'   oje  za'             hian  oran?
     where  Oje  cut   wood
     'Where did Oje cut wood?'

     'On the farm.'

Fronting of a locative adjunct in a contrastive focus clause leads to similar marking by za. When ime occurs in focus position and precedes positive focus (PF) morpheme li, za is required in the matrix clause as the initial verb in series.
(9) ime   li  oje  za'             hian  oran.
    farm  PF  Oje  cut   wood
    'It was on a farm that Oje cut wood.'

In contrast, locative arguments of a verb do not give rise to za. As an argument of verb o 'enter' in declarative clauses, ime in postverbal position follows preposition vbi.
(10) oje  o          vbi  ime.
     Oje  PRP.enter  LOC  farm
     'Oje entered the farm.'

In information question clauses, where ime corresponds to fronted interrogative proform ebe' 'where,' za is disallowed (11a-b). As well, occurrence of ime in contrastive focus position does not lead to a matrix clause predicate phrase with za as a verb in series (11c).
(11a) ebe'   oje  o'-i?
      where  Oje  PAP.enter-F
      'Where did Oje enter?'

(11b) *ebe'  oje  za'             o?
      where  Oje  enter
      'Where did Oje enter?'

(11c) ime   me  li  oje  o'-i.
      farm  my  PF  Oje  PAP.enter-F
      'It was my farm that Oje entered.'

It is likewise the case for vbi marked locative arguments (e.g. udeken 'wall') with transitive verbs (e.g. fi 'hit,' 12a). Neither information question clauses (12b) nor negative contrastive focus clauses (12c) with such verbs lead to verb za in series.
(12a) oje  fi       ukporan  vbi  udeken.
      Oje  PRP.hit  stick    LOC  wall
      'Oje hit a stick on the wall.'

(12b) ebe'   oje  fi'      ukporan?
      where  Oje  PAP.hit  stick
      'Where did Oje hit the stick?'

(12c) Udeken  ki  oje  fi'      ukporan.
      wall    NF  Oje  PAP.hit  stick
      'It wasn't on a wall that Oje hit the stick.'

This brief overview of Emai locative and temporal forms reveals adjuncts in nondeclarative clauses scaffolded by a latent verb. Scaffold structures framed by a latent verb in series also affect adjuncts of temporal quantity. In declarative clauses ikpede eea 'for three days,' for instance, is postverbal and unmarked by a preposition (13a). In information question clauses (13b), where the temporal quantity constituent corresponds to a fronted interrogative proform (ikpede eka 'how many days'), the verb re 'take' is obligatory and precedes other verbs in series.
(13a) oje  hian'    oran  ikpede  eea.
      Oje  PAP.cut  wood  days    three
      'Oje cut wood for three days.'

(13b) ikpede  eka       oje  re'       hian  oran?
      day     quantity  Oje  PAP.take  cut   wood
      'For how many days did Oje cut wood?'

      ikpede  eea.
      days    three
      'For three days.'

Imperative clauses with adjunct ikpede eea grammatically mandate re as well; re must occur in the matrix clause and in a position preceding other verbs in series (14a-b). Temporal quantity adjuncts, though, are not found in contrastive focus clauses.
(14a) re    ikpede  eea    hian  oran.
      take  days    three  cut   wood
      'Take three days to cut wood. / Cut wood for three days.'

(14b) *hian  oran  ikpede  eea.
      cut    wood  days    three
      'Cut wood for three days.'

Another adverbial adjunct type utilizing latent verb re expresses temporal bounding for an event. In declarative clauses, ekein ikpede eea 'within three days' is marked by preposition vbi (15a) and occupies postpredicate position. In corresponding imperatives (15b), re is obligatory with ekein ikpede eea as complement; the resulting re ekein ikpede eea constituent precedes other verbs in series. Temporal bounding adjuncts articulate neither information question nor contrastive focus clauses.
(15a) oli  omohe  hian'    oli  oran  lee   vbi  ekein   ikpede  eea.
      the  man    PAP.cut  the  wood  TEMP  LOC  inside  days    three
      'The man had finished cutting the wood within three days.'

(15b) re    ekein   ikpede  eea    hian  oli  oran  lee.
      take  inside  days    three  cut   the  wood  TEMP
      'Finish cutting the wood within three days.'

Not all adjuncts with temporal significance require latent re. In fact, some evince no latent verb as scaffold. Adjuncts expressing temporal ordinal relations (e.g. ukpede li ozeea 'on the third day'), for instance, appear in postpredicate position marked by preposition vbi (16a). Nonetheless without latent re, they retain postpredicate position in imperative clauses (16b) and in contrastive focus clauses they occupy focus position (16c). (6)
(16a) oli  omohe  hian'    oli  oran  vbi  ukpede  li  ozeea.
      the  man    PAP.cut  the  wood  LOC  day     R   third
      'The man cut the wood on the third day.'

(16b) hian  oli  oran  vbi  ukpede  li  ozeea.
      cut   the  wood  LOC  day     R   third
      'Cut the wood on the third day.'

(16c) ukpede  li  ozeea  li  oli  omohe  hian'    oli  oran.
      day     R   third  PF  the  man    PAP.cut  oli  wood
      'It was on the third day that the man cut the wood.'

Adjuncts expressing a temporal frequency relation (e.g. iseva 'twice') also occur in postpredicate position (17a), although not as a constituent marked by preposition vbi. Without re or any other latent verb in the matrix clause, temporal frequency adjuncts retain postpredicate position in imperative clauses (17b), correspond in information questions to an interrogative pronoun (iseka 'how often' in 17c) and occupy contrastive focus position (17d).
(17a) oli  omohe  e'       oli  emae  iseva.
      the  man  the  food  twice
      'The man ate the food twice.'

(17b) e    oli  emae  isokpa.
      cut  the  wood  once
      'Eat the food at once.'

(17c) iseka      oli  omohe  e'       oli  emae?
      how.often  the  man  the  food
      'How often did the man eat the food?'


(17d) iseva  li  oli  omohe  e'       oli  emae.
      twice  PF  the  man  the  food
      'It was twice that the man ate the food.'

In stark contrast to these last two temporal types, adjuncts expressing reason exhibit a more consistent verb scaffold pattern. Adjunct reason constituents (e.g. ohio isi oje 'because of Oje') do not occur in postpredicate position in declarative clauses (18a). Instead, as complement they immediately follow verb re as the initial verb phrase in series in declaratives (18b), in imperatives (18c), and when they occupy contrastive focus position (18d), re is retained as the initial verb in series. (7)
(18a) *oli  omohe  gbe'      ofe  ohio   isi  oje.
      the   man    PAP.kill  rat  cause  ASS  Oje
      'The man killed rats because of Oje.'

(18b) oli  omohe  re'       ohio   isi  oje  gbe   ofe.
      the  man    PAP.take  cause  ASS  Oje  kill  rat
      'The man killed rats because of Oje.'

(18c) re    ohio   isi  oje  e    oli  emae.
      take  cause  ASS  Oje  eat  the  food
      'Use Oje as the reason for eating the food.'

(18d) ohio   isi  oje  li  oli  omohe  re'       e    oli  emae  lee.
      cause  ASS  Oje  PF  the  man    PAP.take  eat  the  food  TEMP
      'It was because of Oje the man finished eating the food.'

Differing from reason adjuncts and exhibiting a distinct placement for their latent verb compared to temporal and locative types are adjuncts conveying aspectual and temporal extent. Adjuncts of aspectual extent (gbegbei 'completely') occur in postpredicate position in declarative (19a) and imperative (19b) clauses. In information questions, where adjuncts of aspectual extent correspond to interrogative proform (ebe' 'how') and an accompanying manner (MAN) preverb i, (8) their matrix clause requires the postpredicate verb se 'extend to, reach' as the final verb in series (19c). Aspectual extent adjuncts fail to occupy contrastive focus position.
(19a) oje  anme'       oi   eto   a   gbegbei.
      Oje  PAP.scrape  her  hair  CS  completely
      'Oje scraped off her hair completely.'

(19b) anme    oi   eto   a   gbegbei.
      scrape  her  hair  CS  completely
      'Scrape off her hair completely.'

(19c) ebe'  oje  i'       anme    oi   eto   se?
      how   Oje  PAP.MAN  scrape  her  hair
      'To what extent did Oje scrape her hair?'

      o   i    anme    oi   eto   a   gbegbei.
      he  NEG  scrape  her  hair  CS  completely
      'He did not scrape off her hair at all.'

Other aspectual extent adjuncts include jaun 'completely, crisply' (20a-b) and sesese 'completely, neatly' (21a-b). In interrogative clauses they, too, give rise to latent verb se.
(20a) oli  ogo   too'      a   jaun.
      the  bush  PAP.burn  CS  crisply
      'The bush burned to a crisp.'

(20b) ebe'  oli  ogo   i'       too   se?
      how   the  bush  PAP.MAN  burn
      'To what extent did the bush burn?'

      o    too'      a   jaun.
      the  PAP.burn  CS  crisply
      'It burned to a crisp.'

(21a) oli  otoi    fuan-i'         sesese.
      the  ground  completely
      'The ground was absolutely clean.'

(21b) ebe'  oli  otoi    i'       fuan      se?
      how   the  ground  PAP.MAN  be.clean
      'To what extent was the ground clean?'

      o   fuan-i'         sesese.
      it  completely
      'It was absolutely clean.'

Another adjunct type, temporal extent (tititi 'long time'), occurs in postpredicate position in declarative (22a) clauses. In information questions, where adjuncts of temporal extent correspond to interrogative proform ebe' 'how' and its manner preverb i, their matrix clause requires not only the extent verb se in series but also the temporal verb tee 'be long' (22b). Temporal extent adjuncts do not appear in imperative clauses or occupy contrastive focus position. (9)
(22a) oli  omohe  muzan-i'    tititi.
      the  man    PAP.wait-F  long.time
      ' The man waited for a long time.

(22b) ebe'  oli  omohe  i'       muzan  tee      se?
      how   the  man    PAP.MAN  wait   be.long
      'How long did the man wait?'

      o    muzan-i'    tititi.
      the  PAP.wait-F  long.time
      'He waited for a long time.'

A distinct and final pattern characterizes adjuncts of manner. They reveal no evidence of a latent verb. Manner adjuncts (koikoi 'in a gulping fashion') occur in postpredicate position regardless of whether their clause is declarative (23a) or imperative (23b). When manner adjuncts in information questions correspond to interrogative proform (ebe' 'how') and manner preverb i (23c), their matrix clause fails to show a latent verb like se, re or za. Manner adjuncts of this type do not occupy contrastive focus position.
(23a) oli  omohe  o   o  e    oli  emae  koikoi.
      the  man    SC  C  eat  the  food  gulpingly
      'The man is gulping the food / eating the food in a gulping

(23b) e    oli  emae  koikoi.
      eat  eat  food  gulpingly
      'Gulp the food. / Eat the food in a gulping fashion.'

(23c) ebe'  oli  omohe  o   o  i    e    emae?
      how   the  man    SC  H  MAN  eat  food
      'How does the man eat food?'

      o   o  e    oi  koikoi.
      he  H  eat  it  gulpingly
      'He eats it in a gulping fashion. / He gulps it.'

4. Discussion

In the preceding section we called attention to Emai's latent verb coding patterns for some clause structures that incorporate adjuncts. For several adjunct types (locative, temporal bounded, deixis and quantity as well as aspectual and temporal extent), one or more of their noncanonical clauses, i.e. imperative, interrogative or contrastive focus, were coded with a latent verb, whereas their canonical declarative clause was not. Moreover, coding was not uniform across adjunct types, either by latent verb form (re, za, se, tee) or position (pre- versus post-matrix predicate). Still other adjunct types revealed either no latent verb (manner, temporal frequency and temporal ordinal) or consistently required a preceding verb (reason). As a summary of Emai adjunct behavior and its accompanying clausal coding we present Table 2.

At the outset we noted in passing Croft's (2001) comparison of adjunct and argument semantic character. His semantic analysis emphasizes adjuncts as relations relative to their associated predication, following theoretical arguments laid out by Langacker (1987: 214-216), who posits a relation as existing when the definition of one concept inherently requires reference to another concept. If adjuncts are inherently relations, they are functions, i.e. predicates, that take an argument. With reference to (24), in the park is then a predicate whose single argument is the event of chasing. One and the same semantic component, i,e, chase, can thus be a relation or a filler argument of a role in a relation. While chasing is a relation with George and dog as filler arguments, chasing is also a filler argument for the relation being-in-the-park.

(24) George chased the dog in the park.

Earlier, we identified two questions that derive from Croft's analysis and illustration. Do all adjunct types lead to consistent morphosyntactic expression across clause types? And do all adjuncts manifest similar distributional potential? More importantly for Croft's analysis is a third question: Is there morphosyntactic evidence to support the claim that an adjunct is a relation and so can take an associated event as filler argument?

Recall Croft's position that adjuncts are relations taking as their filler argument a matrix clause event. The facts from Emai suggest that not all adjunct constituents are relations vis-a-vis the matrix predicate, i.e. predicates that take a matrix event as filler. Instead, a number of adjunct types appear to be filler arguments for a latent verb that under varying discourse conditions appears in series in the matrix predicate phrase. It is these filler adjunct types, locative and temporal deixis for example, and their latent verbs, za and re respectively, that as a relation could take the matrix clause event as filler.

Not all adjunct expressions serve as filler argument for a latent verb however. Some appear to be relations that could directly take the matrix predicate as filler. The clearest example of this adjunct type is manner; adjuncts expressing temporal frequency and temporal ordinal sequence also appear to be examplars of this type.

Based on these distribution facts from Emai, one could formulate a relation-filler cline for adjuncts in which the propensity to serve as a filler argument increases while the propensity to serve as a relation decreases. The most comprehensive filler adjunct would be REASON, which requires the verb re in all clauses where its exponents occur. The next most filler-like adjunct would be LOCATIVE, which requires latent verb za in contrastive focus and interrogative clauses. The least filler-like and most relation-like adjunct would be MANNER, which revealed no latent verb. TEMPORAL would clearly be the most inconsistent class since temporal frequency and temporal ordinal evince no latent verb, while temporal deixis, temporal quantity and temporal bound lead to latent verb re in either interrogative or imperative clauses or both.


Extent adjuncts, however, exhibit unique properties, as shown by their interrogative frame. They manifest a correspondence relation to not only an information question word (ebe' 'how') and its preverb i but also a latent verb (se) or verbs (se, tee) in postpredicate position, neither of which surfaces in imperative or contrastive focus clauses. The syntactic position of latent verbs associated with extent adjuncts thus contrasts with the position of latent verbs for locative and temporal adjuncts.

Extent adjuncts would be troublesome for a relation-filler cline. They consistently require a latent verb (or verbs) in interrogative clauses but position it after, not before, the matrix predicate. Where would extent adjuncts best fit on a relation-filler cline? Moreover, one wonders whether there might be other linguistic evidence that would identify structural affinities between or among Emai adjunct types. One fact to consider in this regard is shape of adjunct response frame relative to its information question. In question-answer discourse contexts, many adjunct types occur in response to an information question as phrases isolated from clause structure, i.e. ex situ as summarized in Table 2 and exemplified in (7), (8b), (13b) and (17c). Three adjunct types, aspectual extent, temporal extent and manner, fail this test however; each requires an in situ frame in which the respective adjunct follows its matrix verb, as in (19c), (22b) and (23c), repeated here as (25), (26) and (27).
(25) ebe'  oje  i'       anme    oi   eto   se?
     how   Oje  PAP.MAN  scrape  her  hair
     'To what extent did Oje scrape her hair?

     o   i    anme    oi   eto   a   gbegbei.
     he  NEG  scrape  her  hair  CS  completely
     'He did not scrape her hair completely.

(26) ebe'  oli  omohe  i'       muzan  tee      se?
     how   the  man    PAP.MAN  wait   be.long
     'How long did the man wait?'

     o   muzan-i'    tititi.
     he  PAP.wait-F  long.time
     'He waited for a long time.'

(27) ebe'  oli  omohe  o   o  i    e    emae?
     how   the  man    SC  H  MAN  eat  food
     'How does the man eat food?'

     o   o  e    oi  koikoi.
     he  H  eat  it  gulpingly
     'He gulps it.'

In situ responses as well as interrogative proform in information questions (ebe' andi) thus suggest that adjuncts with a postpredicate latent verb are similar to adjuncts that reveal no latent verb; both are more relation like than filler like. Clearly, a simple correlation between morphosyntactic properties and adjunct status as relation or filler is not straightforward. (10) Nonetheless, it does appear that while all adjunct expressions may be relational, not all adjuncts are relations. Some adjuncts are fillers that require a latent verb, especially in clause types outside the canonical declarative.


Croft, William. 2001. Radical construction grammar. New York: Oxford University Press.

Elugbe, Ben. 1989. Comparative Edoid: Phonology and lexicon. Port Harcourt: University of Port Harcourt Press.

Langacker, Ronald. W. 1987. Foundations of cognitive grammar, Vol I: Theoretical perspectives. Standford: Stanford University Press.

Matthews, Peter H. 1981. Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

--. 2007. Syntactic relations. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Schaefer, Ronald P. and Francis O. Egbokhare. 1999. Oral tradition narratives of the Emai people, Part I and Part II. Hamburg: LIT Verlag.

--. 2000. Emai preverb order. Proceedings of the 2nd World Congress of African Linguistics, Lepzig 1997, ed. by H. Ekkehard Wolff and Orin D. Gensler, 733-746. Cologne: Rudiger Koppe Verlag.

--. 2007. A dictionary of Emai: An Edoid language of Nigeria. Cologne: Rudiger Koppe Verlag.

--. 2010. On Emai ditransitive constructions. Studies in ditransitive constructions: A comparative handbook, ed. by Andrej Malchukov, Martin Haspelmath and Bernard Comrie, 115-145. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

--. To appear. A reference grammar for Emai: A Nigerian Edoid language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Watters, John. R. 2000. Syntax. African languages: An introduction, ed. by Bernd Heine and Derek Nurse, 194-230. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Williamson, Kay and Roger Blench. 2000. Niger Congo. African languages: An introduction, ed. by Bernd Heine and Derek Nurse, 11-42. New York: Cambridge University Press.

(1) Data incorporated in this paper derive from research sponsored by the National Science Foundation, (BNS #9011338 and SBR #9409552), the U.S. Department of State (College and University Affiliations Program grant ASJY 1333), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, particularly its Distinguished Research Professor award, and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, particularly its Inaugural Lecture series. We thank these institutions for their continued support, while not extending to them any responsibility for our data interpretation.

(2) Orthographic conventions for Emai generally reflect Schaefer and Egbokhare (2007), where o represents a lax mid back vowel, e a lax mid front vowel, and vb a voiced bilabial approximant. For tone, acute accent marks high, grave signals low, and acute followed by an apostrophe designates high downstep. Abbreviations for grammatical morphemes used in this paper include: APP = applicative, ASS = associative, C = continuous, CL = change of location, CS = change of state, F = factative, H = habitual, ID = identity pronoun, IND = indicative, LOC = locative, MAN = manner, NEG = negative, NF = negative focus, PAP = past perfect, PF = positive focus, PRP = present perfect, R = relator, SC = subject concord, TEMP = temporal perspective.

(3) It is worthwhile to note that English adjuncts differ in morphosyntactic expression as well, e.g. noun preceded by a preposition (in the park) versus lexical adverb (clumsily).

(4) Evidence that za and re are verbs and not preverbs emerges from tonal behavior in Present Perfect aspect (Schaefer and Egbokhare to appear), where verb phrase initial monosyllabic preverbs like Additive gbo 'too, also' (in addition to auxiliaries) show a high low falling tone (oje gboo hian oran [Oje ADD PRP.cut wood] 'Oje has cut wood too') but phrase initial monosyllabic verbs do not (oje gbe ofe [Oje PRP.kill rat] 'Oje has killed a rat' not *oje gbee ofe).

(5) Temporal deictic adjuncts occur in contrastive focus position, ode li oli omohe e' oli emae [yesterday PF the man the food] 'It was yesterday that the man ate the food,' although not with a latent verb in series. Temporal deictic dde does not occur in imperative clauses; other deictic adjuncts, e.g. akho 'tomorrow' and eena 'today,' do, though not with a latent verb.

(6) Temporal ordinal adjuncts occur in information question clauses with a complex structure, although not one involving a latent verb in series. Ordinal adjuncts correspond to a question frame marked by the identity pronoun i ID and the verb yi 'identify' and its complement noun ede 'day.' Ordinal adjuncts thus do not correspond to eghe re interrogatives, as temporal deictic adjuncts do.
(i) i   yi        ede  li  o   hian'    oli  oran?
    ID  identify  day  R   he  PAP.cut  the  wood
    'On which day did he cut the wood?

    ukpede  li  ozeea.
    day     R   third
    'On the third day.'

(7) Reason adjuncts correspond to the complex interrogative frame eme' o ze khi 'why,' which does not involve a latent verb in series. Instead, the erstwhile matrix clause occurs in an embedded indicative marked clause (indicative complement khi) under a cause verb, i.e. ze. It is this matrix cause verb that syntactically corresponds to the reason adjunct.
(i) eme'  o   ze-i'        khi  oli  omohe  e'       oli  emae  lee?
    what  it  PAP.cause-F  IND  the  man  the  food  TEMP
    'What caused the man to finish eating the food?

    ohio   isi  ohanmi.
    cause  ASS  hunger
    'Because of hunger.'

(8) That manner i is a synchronic preverb, not a verb, is supported by its distribution. It never occurs as a simple predicate, transitive or intransitive, or as one constituent of a complex predicate. It arises only in manner expressions where a manner related constituent has been fronted, e.g. manner demonstrative adjunct (iya 'that way,' ina 'this way') or with information question word ebe' 'how.' In contrast, se, za and re occur as simple predicates or as constituents of complex predicates (Schaefer and Egbokhare to appear).

(9) Temporal extent adjuncts fail to occur in contrastive focus and imperative clauses, as the examples below illustrate.
(i) *tititi    li  oli  omohe  muzan'-i.
    long.time  PF  the  man    PAP.wait-F
    'It was for a long time that the man waited.'

(ii) *muzan  tititi.
     wait    long.time
     'Wait a long time.'

(10) The correlation between position of latent verb relative to matrix verb, i.e. preceding vs following matrix predicate, and shape of interrogative response allowed, i.e. in situ vs ex situ, suggests that a more complex parameter than relation/argument may be operating. For the moment, however, we leave this notion unexplored.

Author's Contact Information (corresponding author):

Ronald P. Schaefer

Center for International Programs

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Edwardsville, IL 62026-1616

Francis O. Egbokhare

Department of Linguistics and African Languages

University of Ibadan

Ibadan, Nigeria
Table 1: Emai adjunct (AD) occurrence with main verb and latent verb
(za or re) across clauses that are canonical, i.e. declarative (DECL),
and noncanonical, i.e. imperative (IMP), interrogative (INTER) and
contrastive focus (CF).

          DECL        IMP         INTER    CF

MANNER    verb AD     verb AD
TEMPORAL  verb AD     verb AD     re verb  AD verb
TEMPORAL  verb AD     re AD verb
TEMPORAL  verb AD     re AD verb  re verb
LOCATIVE  verb AD     verb AD     za verb  AD za verb
REASON    re AD verb  re AD verb           AD re verb

Table 2: Coding of Emai adjunct (AD) types (where A is Aspectual and T
is Temporal) by verbs se, tee, re, and za relative to clause types
declarative (DECL), imperative (IMP), interrogative (INTER),
contrastive focus (CF) and response to information question (R-Q).

           DECL         IMP          INTER               CF
MANNER     verb AD      verb AD      ebe' i verb
A EXTENT   verb AD      verb AD      ebe' i verb se
T EXTENT   verb AD                   ebe' i verb tee se
T FREQ     verb AD      verb AD      iseka verb          AD li verb
T ORDINAL  verb vbi AD  verb vbi AD                      AD li verb
T DEIXIS   verb AD      verb AD      eghe re verb        AD li verb
T BOUND    verb vbi AD  re AD verb
T QUANT    verb AD      re AD verb   ikpede eka re verb
LOCATIVE   verb vbi AD  verb vbi AD  ebe' za verb        AD li za verb
REASON     re AD verb   re AD verb                       AD li re verb

MANNER     in situ
A EXTENT   in situ
T EXTENT   in situ
T FREQ     ex situ
T ORDINAL  ex situ
T DEIXIS   ex situ
T QUANT    ex situ
LOCATIVE   ex situ
REASON     ex situ
COPYRIGHT 2014 Dartmouth College Library
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Schaefer, Ronald P.; Egbokhare, Francis O.
Publication:Linguistic Discovery
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Jun 1, 2014
Previous Article:Arguments and Adjuncts as Language-Particular Syntactic Categories and as Comparative Concepts.
Next Article:A Canonical Approach to the Argument/Adjunct Distinction.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |