return to GR Serial Verb Constructions
Joseph Lovestrand (SOAS)
Serial verbs in Barayin (Chadic) | Séries verbales en barayin, langue tchadique
Barayin is a Chadic language spoken by about 5,000 people in the Guera region of Chad in the town of Melfi and nearby villages. There are four types of serial verb constructions (SVCs) in Barayin: Deictic, Manner, Stand and Take SVCs. Each type has the same structural properties: a serial verb from a restricted class immediately precedes another verb, sharing a single semantic scope, a single set of arguments, a shared TAM, and allowing a dislocated object before the first verb.
Taking a Lexical-Functional Grammar approach to modeling Barayin SVCs, I treat serial verbs as semantically bleached non-projecting words that are left-adjoined to the main verb. This results in a shared f-structure that enforces complementary TAM marking on both verbs. The semantic types of SVCs differ at the level of s-structure where each verb augments the argument structure of the main verb in a different way.