, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 795-832
Date: 05 Nov 2008

Object-sharing as Symmetric Sharing: predicate clefting and serial verbs in Dàgáárè

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Dàgáárè (a Gur language) allows various patterns of predicate clefting together with object pied-piping. This article investigates interactions of Predicate Cleft Constructions (PCCs) and object-sharing Serial Verb Constructions (SVCs) in Dàgáárè and argues that the object in object-sharing SVCs is symmetrically shared. Namely, we argue, building on Citko (2005), that it is an instance of Parallel Merge. Thus we present support for Baker’s (1989) insight of the Double-Headedness and against Collins’ (1997) VP-shell structure with a pro. This kind of empirical evidence is not available in other languages (cf. Baker 1989, Collins 1997 among others) and hence Dàgáárè provides a novel argument for a permissible structure of object-sharing SVCs and the availability of symmetric structure in UG.

We are grateful to Mark Baker, Seth Cable, Noam Chomsky, Chris Collins, Chizuru Ito, Jason Kandybowicz, Hironobu Kasai, Alec Marantz, David Pesetsky, Peter Sells, Akira Watanabe, three anonymous reviewers and the Associate Editor for this article for helpful comments, questions, and discussions at various stages of this project. The first author is grateful to the Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows (No. 1710271). The second author gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (through RGC project No. HKU725104H). Dàgáárè is a Gur language mainly spoken in the northwestern parts of Ghana and in adjoining areas of Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. The data in this article come from the dialect spoken in the Jirapa district in Ghana. The abbreviations used in this article are as follows: C = Complementizer, Cnj = Conjunction marker, F = Focus marker, Fut = Future, Neg = Negation, Nml = Nominalizer, Perf = Perfective, Pl. = Plural, Pres = Present, Prog = Progressive, Pst = Past, Sg. = Singular.