Internal Structure of Verb meaning: A Study of verbs in Tamazight (Berber) makes years of academic research in linguistics available to a wide audience. It is written in such a way that it serves as an introduction to the domains of lexical semantics and the organization of grammar for students. The book investigates the internal structure and the predicate-argument structure of verbs of (change of) state, including unaccusatives, verbs of spatial configuration, causatives, and those traditionally referred to as verbs of quality in the linguistic literature on Tamazight. The Tamazight data investigated is so peculiar that it reveals a lot about the construction and derivation of verb meaning from both the ontogenetic and the phylogenetic views. The analysis provided in this book also shows in a parsimonious and most lucid way how lexical semantics interacts with other syntactic approaches including Government and Binding and the Minimalist program.
As most of the literature available on Tamazight is written in French, the author also made a pledge to inform the English-speaking world about the reality of Tamazight not only as a living language, but also as a culture and an identity that is still cherished and defended by its owners across North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt and in some Sub-Saharan countries including Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso in a variety known as Tuareg. Although the language is still spoken by some 40 million people in these two regions, political regimes in these various countries have had enough of a nerve to even deny its existence (see quotes, p. iv). You will be surprised to find out that Sheshonq, the founder of the 22nd dynasty of Pharaohs in Egypt, was an Amazigh (Berber) from Libya; and you will learn about how this millennia-old language has resisted some of the most oppressive tyrants and regimes of our era.