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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Quantification in Jamaican Creole
The syntax and semantics of evri (‘every’) in interaction with indefinites
LINCOM Studies in Pidgin and Creole Linguistics 11
In this work, it is shown that existing scopal accounts of the interpretative possibilities associated with quantificational interaction do not explain the empirical facts in Jamaican Creole (JC), as revealed by original fieldwork conducted by the author. Moreover, it is shown that the JC universal evri and the indefinites wan and som, the forms on which the study focuses, do not display the same behaviour as their English counterparts ‘every’, ‘a(n)’ and ‘some’.
It is proposed that the key to a unified solution for these phenomena lies in the expression of number in JC with the possibilities which event structure makes available. It is argued that an articulated functional structure above the NP houses the functions associated with the individuation of nouns and with number specification. These functions which derive the different interpretations of JC evri in interaction with indefinites, are not specific or restricted to this purpose, but are shown to be necessary for any plural individual interpretation, and to apply also to the analysis of numeral NPs.
The proposed analysis means that there is no need to call on movement operations to account for the JC data. Instead, the interpretations are derived from the phrase structure and from event structure.
KEYWORDS: Quantificational interaction; scope; individuation; number specification; event structure