Explorations in Ethiopian Linguistics: Complex Predicates, Finiteness and Interrogativity (Abhandlungen Fur Die Kunde Des Morgenlandes)
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Explorations in Ethiopian Linguistics brings together twelve contributions on linguistic problems at the interface of morphosyntax and semantics/pragmatics in Semitic, Cushitic and Omotic languages of Ethiopia. The first section of the volume consists of two articles on interrogativity in Amharic and Baskeet. Their main concern is the morphosyntax and use of yes/no and content questions, and the morphology of interrogative pronouns. The second section assembles four chapters dealing with complex predicates in Amharic, Koorete, Zargulla and Xamtanga. They point out the semantic/pragmatic differences between complex predicates and their monoverbal counterparts, the morphosyntactic properties of the component verbs, and the differences between complex predicates and multi-clausal constructions. The six contributions of the third section are dedicated to issues of finiteness in Libido and various Ethiosemitic languages including Amharic, Ge'ez, Gurage languages and Tigrinya. The studies show that a high degree of linguistic variability occurs in finiteness marking in these languages. In discussing verb forms that are neither fully finite nor fully infinite they provide further support for the hypothesis that finiteness should be considered a relational - scalar rather than an absolute - binary category.Most articles are based on presentations made at the 18th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies held from 29 October until 2 November 2012 in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, and, thus, reflect recent research trends in the description of Ethiopian languages.
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