Chapter published in:Lexical Polycategoriality: Cross-linguistic, cross-theoretical and language acquisition approaches
Edited by Valentina Vapnarsky and Edy Veneziano
[Studies in Language Companion Series 182] 2017
► pp. 35–57
The flexibility of the noun/verb distinction in the lexicon of Mandinka
In Mandinka, a Mande language, it is easy to identify words fulfilling the function of verbal head of a clause or nominal head of a noun phrase, but the division of lexemes into a class of nominal lexemes and a class of verbal lexemes is problematic, due to their categorial flexibility. This article argues that three major classes or lexemes must be distinguished: verbal lexemes (whose nominal use is fully predictable and can conveniently be analyzed as morphologically unmarked nominalization), nominal lexemes (whose verbal use is limited to the expression of ‘provide someone with X’), and verbo-nominal lexemes (whose nominal and verbal uses are equally productive, and at the same time cannot be related to each other by any general rule).
Keywords: mandinka, noun/verb distinction, unmarked nominalization, verbo-nominal lexemes
Published online: 01 November 2017
In preparation. Origin and evolution of antipassive markers in West Mande languages.
Evans, N. & Osada, T.