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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The Light Verb Construction in Japanese: The role of the verbal noun
This study deals with the so-called Light Verb Construction in Japanese, which consists of the verb "suru" 'do' and an accusative ("o") marked verbal noun (VN). There have been unresolved debates on the role of "suru": whether "suru" in "VN-o suru" functions as a light or heavy verb. The previous studies attempt to disambiguate "VN-o suru" formations by relying solely on examining whether "suru" can be thematically light or not. This study argues that the ambiguity does not stem from the 'weight' of "suru" but from its accusative phrase: whether it is headed by a thematic (complex event) VN or non-thematic (simple event) VN. Using a principles and parameters approach and employing ideas from conceptual semantics and theories of aspect, this study demonstrates that the characterization of "VN-o suru" formations arises not from the dichotic behavior of "suru" but from the dichotic behavior of the accusative phrase.