Applicative verbs in Ruruuli-Lunyala : structure and meaning
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Applied verbs in Bantu languages have largely been investigated as allowing a new object NP within the subcategorization of their base verb, leading to a change of valency with the new NP often giving a certain thematic role. However, less attention has been put on the role of the applicative in supporting the notion that argument projection may be aspectually determined (Kennedy & Levin, 2008; Tenny, 1992). I observed that all applicative verbs in Ruruuli-Lunyala can be used with specialised overt telicity markers kakyarumwei ̳‘completely’/ ̳‘very’/ ̳‘a lot‘ and bwereere ̳‘for nothing’ in constituent order subject –verb –applicative adverbial/telicity marker –object. To specificy the relationship between these degree modifiers and applicative morphology, and how this can inform telicity, and the classification of applicative verbs in Bantu languages was a puzzle. I provided an in-depth understanding of applicative verb structure and meaning. I examined the formation of applicative verbs in Ruruuli-Lunyala. I also investigated the relationship between telicity and syntactic contexts of applicative verb. I then analysed semantic roles and discourse properties of the applicative objects. I used corpus and participant observation methods of data collection in light of Basic Linguistic Theory. Data was integratively analysed using the lexical software of WordSmith tools. The research findings indicated that applicatives can be realised by derivational morphology involving morphological patterns of vowel harmony, suffixation, segment deletion (s) and compensatory lengthening. Ruruuli-Lunyala is depicted as partially asymmentrical and partially symmetrical with regard to the syntactic object behavior. I identified seven types of semantic roles associated with applicative objects, namely beneficiary, location, goal, instrument, patient, possessum and temporal. The summation of mean of the topicality status of applicative objects using Thompson‘s (1990) topic worthiness properties was found at 52%. I conclude that applicative verbs can be classified into two types, namely atelic and telic applicative verbs. I classify Ruruuli-Lunyala as semi-(a) symmetrical language. I also conclude that Ruruuli-Lunyala applicative form can change from single applicative (-er/-ir) to double applicative (-er-er/-ir-ir) in present and perfective, respectively. The post-verbal ̳applied object‘ position/applicative adverbial position can be called the ̳‘applied constituent position’ for both the ̳‘applied object’ and ̳‘applicative adverbial’ are ̳‘applied constituents’. I call for further intra and cross-linguistic studies involving Ruruuli-Lunyala in general since this language is overly under-researched.