Action nominalization: a view from Esahie (Kwa)

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Walter de Gruyter
The paper provides a comprehensive account of the derivation of action nominals in Esahie, a Ghanaian language of the Tano subgroup (Kwa, Niger-Congo) which has been undocumented thus far, especially as far as morphosyntactic phenomena are concerned. The aim of the research is threefold: to contribute to language documentation, to provide a systematic description and analysis of the morphosyntactic properties of Esahie action nominals, and to offer a typological assessment of these constructions. We argue that action nominalization in Esahie primarily involves a composite strategy: a morpho-syntactic operation, invariably involving affixation, and a concomitant prosodic operation in the form of a change in tonal melody. As far as the derivation of action nominals is concerned, it appears that in Esahie, tone raising is not simply a phonologically-conditioned prosodic effect, but plays a morphemic role. Further, depending on the arity of the base verb, nominalization may or may not be coupled with incorporation of the internal argument, which derives a form of synthetic compounding, as in the English truck-driving type. Based on the seminal works by Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. 1993. Nominalizations. London: Routledge; Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria. 2006. Nominalizations. In Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, vol. 8, 652–659. Boston: Elsevier, the current work argues that Esahie belongs to the possessive-incorporating subtype of the incorporating languages.
Broohm, Obed Nii and Melloni, Chiara. "Action nominalization: a view from Esahie (Kwa)" Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, vol. 42, no. 1, 2021, pp. 27-62.