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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Copulative in Venda Add Dissertation
Author: Richard Madadzhe Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Stellenbosch, Department of African Languages
Completed in: 1997
Linguistic Subfield(s): Semantics; Syntax;
Subject Language(s): Venda
Director(s): M Visser
N. Milubi
J. Du Plessis

Abstract: The study examines the syntactic structure and semantic interpretation of the copulative in Venda.

Chapter one consists of the introduction, aim, methods of research and the organization of study. Previous opinions on the copulative have been reviewed. One school of thought recognizes the copulative as a fully-fledged verb while the other does not.

Chapter two shows the inadequacy and inappropriateness of treating the copulative from a relational point of view. Functional categories of inflection such as agreement, tense, negative, mood and aspect have been invoked to prove the verbal categorial status of the copulative. It is also argued that the copulative verbs always appear with complements in sentences.

Chapter three gives an exposition of the semantics of the copulative. This exposition is achieved by analysing different types of copulative sentences, namely, specificational, predicational and descriptionally-identifying sentences, identity statements and definitions. Presupposition, exhaustiveness implicature, connectedness, contrast, to mention but a few, are some of the aspects dealt with in the chapter.

Chapter four focuses on the syntactic structure, distribution and semantic interpretation of clefts in Venda. It has been indicated that clefts are divided into three types: it-clefts, pseudo-clefts and predicate clefts. As the relative plays a pivotal role in the formation of clefts, it has also been discussed in detail. Categories that can and cannot be clefted have also been examined. Inflection has also been analysed as it leads to greater understanding of the structure of clefts in Venda. Semantic aspects that are expressed by clefts such as focus, theme and theme, new and given information, emphasis and contrast have also received attention.

Chapter five gives a summary of the findings of the previous chapters.