On Predication of Adjectives in Ga

Yvonne Akwele Amankwaa Ollennu

Abstract


The adjective as a word class is elusive, as sometimes this distinct class is not easy to be identified in some languages though recent linguistics studies have claimed it exists in all languages. In Ga, a Kwa language of Niger Congo, the adjective class can be clearly defined. The Ga adjective class consists of both derived and underived forms. Adjectives are syntactically known to play the role of attribution, and/or predication and also found in comparative constructions. This paper investigates how adjectives in predicative positions in English are expressed in Ga and more especially when multiple ones serve as copula complement. It shows that adjectives in predication are expressed through verbs in Ga. The adjectives found in Ga are classified according to Dixon semantic classes. The data for this study were collected through questionnaire and follow up interviews from some native speakers. From the study, it came to light that verbs that occur in predicate positions as head of the verb phrases may have adjective equivalents but speakers prefer the verbs to the adjectives and there seems to be some number agreement with the nouns in subject position. When the adjective has no verb equivalent, natives make use of relative clauses and also make use of the adjectives. The study further revealed that when multiple adjectives are used in predicative position, though a restricted order was not established, there exist a preferred order for example, dimension adjectives occur before colour adjectives. 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v9i2.11067

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