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Academic Paper

Title: Valency of Bangla Verb and the Problem of Compounding
Paper URL:
Author: Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Indian Statistical Institute
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics; Semantics; Syntax
Subject Language: Bengali
Abstract: This paper is on the Bangla verb type and especially on compound verbs, the rule of selectional restrictions of which is discussed here. The purpose of this paper is to 'describe' to understand the ontology of each Bangla Verbs (BV) type by drawing its factual existence in the world of Bangla discourse. There are four sections in this paper. Section 1 is on the order of the Bangla Verb in a sentence. In Section 2 the predictability of Bangla simple sentence by identifying the verb is depicted. Verbs with one Participating Entity (PE) are 0-group verbs; if there are two PEs, the verb has the valency 1; and if there iare more than 2 PEs, the verb will have valency 3. The valency of each verb can project the sentence-schemata. Further specifications (Functional Category, Theta-role, Case-marker, and Animacy of each PE in a given sentence) are to be predicted through this system of valency-scale. This scale also can derive the structure of the causative construction, as there is a one-to-one correspondence among non-causative, first causative and second causative base. Furthermore, this scale also solves the vital problem of identifying compound verb in a Bangla sentences. Section 3 is on the different possibilities of Bangla Verb-combinations. Section 4 is on the rules for these combinations (particularly Compound Verbs, CV). In Bangla, more than one verb sequences are as follows: (1) V + Infl. te and modals (Dasgupta, Dhongde & Rajendran in the context of Bangla, Marathi and Tamil respectively, 1981); (2) V + Infi. e and vectors (Dasgupta l977 and 1989). These are generally called Compound Verbs. Matching of pole and vector gives a new meaning to the compound formation; (3) infinitives with the suffix -e and verbs. These are called conjunctives; (4) V +infl.le and modals: Hypothetical sentences; (5) V +infl. A and vectors: Lexicalized Compound Verb in impersonal passive construction. Beside these types of constructions, there is another type of construction called Composite Verb Construction (Dasgupta, M. 1990) where a type of unique morpheme is created by juxtaposing noun, adjective and postposition with a selective list of verbs. This paper concentrates on the rules behind the construction of pole-vector sequences (i.e. the compound verbs). There is a valency-harmony in between pole, though vector and even a vector can reduce the valency of the pole. This 'harmonization' between pole and vector is semantically determined by the valency scale, if and only if one can subdivide every valency according to the pressure of semantic features like PE, Volitionality, Kinesis of action, Individuatedness of the agent-affected or object-affected etc. Dasgupta (1977,1989) discussed some ad hoc rules at length, but nonetheless admitted that there are some 'cloudy area'. This cloudy area can only be removed by the multi-nary valency system. Considering every verb as a being, every pole-verb has to compensate for their existential 'lack' by taking anyone from the selected list of vectors. Suppose there is a group of features f1, f2….fn, which verbs have contained within their existence these features are volitioality, kinesis of action, Indlviduatedness of the Agent-affected or object-affected and so on. However, not all the verbs have all the characteristics. The pole selects its counterpart according to its need.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Workshop on Lexical Typology. Central Institute of Indian Languages and School of at the Telugu University. 26 Jan.- 3 Feb.1994.
Publication Info: Vahuvacana, Journal of the Linguistic Research Center. (pp. 46-64).Jadavpur, Kolkata.

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