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Definite descriptions of events: progressive interpretation in Ga (Kwa)

  • Agata RenansEmail author
Open Access
Original Research

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that the progressive interpretation in Ga is an effect of the interaction between the imperfective aspect and a definite description of events. Crucially, the data from Ga point to the consequences of the view that definite descriptions of events encode the familiarity of the discourse referent and its uniqueness in bearing the property in question. Namely, they yield direct evidentiality and the necessary ongoingness of the event at the topic time. Thus, the paper identifies previously unattested variation in the semantics of the progressive in a cross-linguistic perspective and shows that not only lexical but also grammatical aspect exhibits striking parallelisms with the nominal domain.

Keywords

Progressive aspect Definite descriptions Fieldwork semantics Ga language Evidentiality 

Notes

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© The Author(s) 2019

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ruhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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