Verb sequencing constraints in Ga:Serial verb constructions and the extended verb complex
The paper examines two verb sequencing constructions in Ga: the Serial Verb Construction (SVC) and the Extended Verb Complex (EVC). The former is an instance of a commonly recognized construction, the latter is typically found in the Volta Basin area of West Africa. EVCs are sequences of verbs functioning as single verb units relative to the syntax, but with an internal structure much like syntactic complementation. Both constructions show agreement of aspect and mood marking throughout the sequence, but with differences in exponence: in an SVC all Vs expose such marking, in an EVC only a limited (down to one) number of verbs, depending on the inflectional category. The paper presents the basic facts, based on works by Dakubu (2002, 2004, to appear), and gives an HPSG account of their morphology, syntax and semantics. The analysis is sustained by a grammar of the phenomena implemented with the 'Linguistic Knowledge Builder' (LKB), an engineering platform for natural language processing.