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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


BUTLER, Anneke. The participle as a different form of the verb. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2016, vol.56, n.1, pp.81-101. ISSN 2224-7912.

Afrikaans is an inflection-poor language and, as expected, a literature review revealed that little agreement exists on how the participle in Afrikaans should be analysed and described. These differences are reflected in three basic issues, namely: a) inaccurate terminology use and vague formulations; b) controversy in arguments about the morphological process (including the distinction between inflection or derivation) responsible for the formation of participles; and c) inconsistency in the recognition of the participle as a form of the verb and whether the form of the verb that is used with auxiliaries (het in the past tense and word/is in the passive) should be regarded as participles. The incongruences above are in fact all variations of the same basic problem: the distinction between inflection and derivation. In an attempt to solve the vague and conflicting descriptions of the participle in Afrikaans, this article proposes a distinction between the participle form of the verb and the form of the verb that is used in periphrastic constructions (PC) - i.e. the past tense and the passive (Figure A). Grammatical analyses and descriptions of Afrikaans are relatively outdated. Before the publication of Kontemporêre Afrikaanse taalkunde (Carstens & Bosman) in2014,thelastrevised grammar was published more than a decade ago. Therefore, new theoretical insights have not yet been applied to the description of the participle in Afrikaans. Jenkinson (1993:117-118) and Van Huyssteen (2014:184) argue that the inflection-derivation distinction in Afrikaans should not be seen as an absolute distinction, but rather as conceptual gradience, as described in cognitive linguistics. In this regard Tuggy (1985:210-213) states that an inflection-derivation continuum can be viewed as a form of categorisation that reflects a more natural interpretation ofhumancognition. Booij (2002:19-20; 2006:660) elaborates on this idea by distinguishing contextual inflection from inherent inflection. This distinction supports the distinction between the participle form and the PC form of the verb. The PC form of the verb correlates fully with contextual inflection, whereas the participle form correlates fully with inherent inflection. This finer distinction is also compatible with Langacker's (1987:145; 2008:119-120) view that the participle shows an intermediatecharacter thatissituatedsomewherebetween processes and atemporal relations. From the view of a cognitive descriptive framework, the participle form and the PC form of the verb are compared on both the phonological and the semantic poles. Since the present participle form of the verb cannot be confused with the PC form of the verb, the comparison is made specificallybetween the past participleform (a) and the PCform(b)ofthe verb. (a) Afrikaans ge- kook - te eier PTCP- boil- PTCP egg “boiled egg” (b) Afrikaans Ek het . eier ge- kook. I AUX an egg PST- boil. "boiled an egg." On the phonological pole, the past participle form of the verb is often used in syntactic constructions with a copula verb, while the PC form of the verb in past tense constructions is always used with the auxiliary het, and with word/is in passive constructions. Furthermore, the word final -d/-t deletion rule in Afrikaans is complete in the PC form, but not in the participle form. This implies that the PC forms of the verb are never formed by the ambifix ge-V-d/-t (like the participle form) but only with the prefix ge-V. The difference on both the phonological and semantic poles is clear when a prototypical construction schema of a participle form (c) is compared to that of a PC form (d) by making use of the formalism of construction morphology (Booij 2010a:28). (c) [ge [V]id/t]↔ [completed state of SEMi ].j [PTCP [V]i PTCP]Aj ↔[completed state of SEM ]. (d) [ge [V]vj ↔ [PST 'of SEMi ].j [PST [V]i]Vj ↔ [PST of SEMi ]. Although the morphological structure ofthe various forms differs, they are often seen as the same form because the participle form is often used without the -d/-t It is, however, only when the past participle is used pre-nominally that the -d/-t is realised. Yet, examples exist of past participle forms where the use of the -d is compulsory and they are key in the distinction between the different verb forms. In (e), (f) and (g) the English form of the verb is consistently confused. That is not the case with Afrikaans. In Afrikaans, the PC forms in the past tense (e) and passive (f) would be ungrammatical if -d was used, and (g) would have a different meaning without the -d - i.e. that someone confused the speaker and not that the speaker experienced confusion. (e) JD se notas het my verwar. JD's notes confused me. (f) Ek word maklik deur JD se notas verwar. I am easily confused by JD's notes. (g) Ek is só verward vandag. I am so confused today. On the semantic pole, diagrammatic illustrations are presented to demonstrate the difference between the semantic characterisations of the participle form and the passive form of the verb. Both these forms have process bases that are transformed to atemporal relations as a result of summative scanning. Another similarity is the reversed trajectory-landmark organisation. The difference, though, is that the participle form only profiles the final state of the process, while the passive form profiles all the states of the process as they unfold. Adding to this difference, the passive form of the verb needs the auxiliary as another component structure in the resulting composite structure of the passive construction where the auxiliary (word/is) retemporalises the specific content of the passive form (Langacker 2008:125). The participle form and the past tense form of the verb are also distinguished on the semantic pole. Afrikaans does not have the same perfect construction as Dutch or English. When one needs to express a perfect aspectual contour in Afrikaans, one has to make use of adverbs. The past tense construction in Afrikaans (het + ge-V) originated from the Dutch perfect construction and developed into an exclusive tempus marker (Ponelis 1993; Conradie 1999). Consequently, the past tense construction in Afrikaans is a fixed, conventional unit that includes the construction as a whole: auxiliary + past tense form of the verb. The construction marks the verb as preceding the moment of speech.

Palavras-chave : participle; present participle; past participle; form of the verb; periphrastic construction; passive construction; past tense construction; cognitive descriptive framework.

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