It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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On the Productivity of Verbal Prefixation in English
One of the most far-reaching changes that has been observed for the English
language was its progressive transformation from a highly inflectional language
to a more analytic one. As a case in point, the postposition of the particle in
particle verbs, as in to go out, has been interpreted to have triggered the
unproductivity of the synthetic verbal prefix system, i.e. of verbs such as the
now obsolete to outgo. Nevertheless, neologisms such as to upskill seemingly
suggest a revival of this morphological pattern. Some of the questions which
arise are thus: Is prefixation really an unproductive pattern of English verb-
formation? Do the recent creations therefore indicate a revival of this pattern?
Why has this type of verb-formation possibly been revived lately? To answer
these questions, this study investigates the morphological productivity of prefix
verbs by using different methods of measurement: on the basis of the OED, on
the basis of various diachronic and synchronic corpora, and on the basis of