Coordination in Nkami
Keywords:Coordination, coordination strategies, linguistic properties of coordinators, multi-functionality and grammaticalization of coordinators, semantics of coordination
In this paper I comprehensively discuss the syntactic phenomenon of coordination in Nkami, an endangered, less known Guang (Kwa, Niger-Congo) language of Ghana, based on synchronic natural data. I discuss issues including Nkami’s coordination strategies, its number and types of coordinators, morpho-phonological make-up and distributional abilities of the coordinators, allowable types of syntactic structures for coordination, and the semantic effect(s) of the coordinators on coordinate structures. In addition, some constraints governing Nkami’s coordination, and the multi-functionality and source concepts of the coordinators are also discussed. Among other things, it is observed that Nkami employs both syndetic (overt) and asyndetic (covert) strategies for coordination though the former is highly restricted, occurring chiefly in narratives and pithy sayings. Nkami employs a Serial Adjective Construction (or an asyndetic) strategy when modifiers (adjectives) in a sentence modify the same referent, while a Coordinate Adjective Construction (or a syndetic) strategy is used when the modifiers qualify different referents within the same sentence. Like regional languages, Nkami has clearly distinct and-coordinators for phrasal and clausal coordination. Lastly, almost all the coordinators in Nkami are multi-functional, and are diachronically derivable from more lexical or less grammatical concepts.
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