The Syntax of Tongugbe (Ewe) Nyá-Constructions
Selikem Gotah
March 2023

Ewe (Kwa, Niger-Congo) has a construction known in the literature as the nyá-construction (Ameka 1991, 2005; Collins 1993; Adjei 2014). The logical internal argument of the construction occurs in subject position and the logical external argument is either absent or represented in the construction as a for-PP. In this paper, I consider the syntax of the Ewe nyá-construction, exploring data from the Tongugbe dialect. While the construction bears close resemblance to passives on the surface, I argue that it is best treated as a middle. I demonstrate that even though the internal argument undergoes syntactic A-movement to surface subject position, the nyá-construction lacks key properties of passives. Furthermore, I contend that the for-PP that may occur in the nyá-construction is its external argument. I argue that even if the for-PP is not overtly realized, it is syntactically projected in spec, vP. The analysis I put forward provides support for Collins' 2021 theory of implicit arguments, according to which implicit arguments are syntactically projected, contra Bruening (2013) and others.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007174
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in:
keywords: ewe, tongugbe, nyá-construction, middle, a-movement, implicit argument, syntax
previous versions: v2 [March 2023]
v1 [February 2023]
Downloaded:129 times


[ edit this article | back to article list ]