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A short Kikuyu grammar by B M Kirkaldy-Willis, W.H. Gecaga

By B M Kirkaldy-Willis, W.H. Gecaga

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Extra info for A short Kikuyu grammar

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The direct object of nouns, by contrast, never shows the 'et particle but appears instead together with its governor in a genitivelike construction called the construct. The construct differs from the English genitive inw that the head noun occurs in a construct form. This construct form is very clearly demarcated with plurals of nominals. The default (masculine) nominal plural suffix is im. Nouns in the construct always show e instead. So the nonconstruct plural of sus 'horse' is susim, but its construct is suse, as in the following example: (2) sus-e horse-pl far'o Pharaoh The nouns in a construct phrase form a single word phonologically, as shown by the spirantization of the initial /p/ in far'o (underlyingly par'o) in the Masoretic text.

Also, agentives may be semantically noncompositional. So, to again cite Berman, the verb lexemes whose participles are cofe and maskif* both have the sense 'watch, observe', but the first, as an agentive noun, means '(boy) scout', while the second means '(UN) observer' (1978, 398). Some agentives also occur in only one gender. There are thus ample syntactic grounds for claiming with Berman that participial agentive nouns are the result of derivation, while the present tense is an inflected form of the verb.

Every nonmodal English verb has such a form. Although Chomsky syntactically treats -en as a suffix, which allows him to include it in his classic affix-hopping account of verb morphology, it is quite complex morphophonologically and is certainly not always a realized as a suffix. For most verbs, which is to say in the default case, the perfect participle is formed by adding to the verb stem a suffix, which I call D, which is also the default marker of the past-tense form. 32 But even abstract D is only the default realization of the perfect participle.

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