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Mazzoli, Maria (2013) Copulas in Nigerian Pidgin. [Tesi di dottorato]

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Abstract (inglese)

In this work I describe the copular system of Nigerian Pidgin (NigP), a pidgin/creole language spoken in Nigeria. I restricted the analysis to the modern Western metropolitan variety. I built the present work upon both corpus occurrences and grammaticality judgments and, as I explain in Chapter 2, the spoken corpus of NigP was collected during field research in Lagos in 2007; later, I added to this material a sample of written NigP texts. This combined corpus counts about 100.000 words and is accessible in the CD (Appendix A-CD and B-CD). In 2012 I conducted a prosodic experiment in collaboration with the Paduan CNR on the tonal realisation of DE in the spoken production of two speakers from Benin City. This elicited material is also available in Appendix C-CD. I divided the space covered by copulas in NigP into three semantic domains: (1) identification/ascription, (2) location/existence, and (3) attribution. The choice of the copula in NigP is mainly grounded on the syntactic nature of the complement. Thus, the copulas be and na govern nominal complements in identificational and ascriptive contexts, the copula de governs locative arguments or displays intransitively in existential contexts, and the attributive copula de is inserted in the verb slot before verbal property item if certain conditions are met. I deal with these issues in the three research chapters (4, 5 and 6 respectively). The main aim was to attest and explain the variation encountered in each domain. In Chapter 4 I explain that the focus introducer na has been reanalysed as a copula in identificational and ascriptive contexts. In fact, the copular constructions with be and na entail two different pragmatic and syntactic encodings of their arguments, which explains the perfect complementary distribution of the two items. In Chapter 5 I deal with the lexical item DE, which encompasses two grammatical categories: existential/locative copula and imperfective aspect. Speakers realise the difference between the two by means of tone, as the results of the prosodic experiment consistently confirmed. Attributive contexts are not always copular due to the verbal nature of property items, as I claim in Chapter 6. The insertion of the copula de is governed by diverse syntactic and semantic factors. Also, the prosodic experiment conducted on the tonal realisation of DE allowed attesting the fluctuating aspectual character (stative/non-stative) of property items in NigP and, consequently, their occurrence with both the high-toned copula de and the low-toned imperfective marker dè.

Abstract (italiano)

Questo lavoro descrive il sistema delle copule in Nigerian Pidgin (NigP), una lingua pidgin/creola parlata in Nigeria. Ho ristretto l’analisi alla varietà odierna parlata in contesti metropolitani nell’Ovest del paese. Le fonti dei dati sono le occorrenze del corpus e i giudizi di grammaticalità forniti dagli informatori. Come spiego nel Capitolo 2, il corpus parlato di NigP è stato registrato durante una ricerca sul campo nella città di Lagos mentre in seguito ho aggiunto a questi dati alcuni esempi di produzioni scritte di NigP. L’intero corpus è consultabile sul CD allegato (Appendici A-CD e B-CD). Nel 2012 ho condotto un esperimento prosodico in collaborazione con il CNR di Padova sulla realizzazione tonale dell’elemento DE sulla base della produzione orale di due parlanti originarie di Benin City. Anche questo materiale elicitato è disponibile su CD (Appendice C-CD). Ho diviso lo spazio semantico coperto dalle copule in NigP in tre macro-aree: (1) identificazione/ascrizione, (2) locazione/esistenza, e (3) attribuzione. La scelta della copula in NigP è basata sulla natura sintattica del complemento. Infatti, le copula be e na reggono complementi nominali nei contesti identificazionali e ascrittivi, la copula de regge complementi locativi o si trova come esistenziale intransitivo, e la copula attributiva de può essere inserita prima dei lessemi (verbali) che esprimono la proprietà se si danno alcune condizioni. Affronto questi temi nei tre capitoli di ricerca (rispettivamente il 4, 5 e 6). Lo scopo principale era di descrivere e spiegare la variazione che si trova in ciascuna macro-area semantica. Nel Capitolo 4 spiego come l’introduttore di focus na sia stato rianalizzato come copula in contesti identificazionali e ascrittivi. Infatti le copule be e na comportano due diverse codifiche sintattiche e pragmatiche dei loro argomenti e questo spiega la perfetta distribuzione complementare dei due elementi. Nel Capitolo 5 descrivo l’elemento lessicale DE, che comprende due categorie grammaticali: copula esistenziale/locativa e aspettuale imperfettivo. La differenza tra le due è realizzata dai parlanti grazie ad una distinzione tonale, come hanno dimostrato i risultati dell’esperimento prosodico. I contesti attributivi non sono sempre copulari perché i lessemi che esprimono proprietà in NgP sono verbali, come sostengo nel Capitolo 6. L’inserzione della copula de è governata da diversi fattori sintattici e pragmatici. Inoltre, l’esperimento prosodico sulla realizzazione tonale di DE ha permesso di attestare l’oscillazione aspettuale di questi elementi verbali esprimenti una proprietà (stativo/non-stativo) e, di conseguenza, la loro occorrenza sia con la copula de (tono alto) che con il marcatore preverbale imperfettivo dè (tono basso).

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Tipo di EPrint:Tesi di dottorato
Relatore:Mioni, Alberto Maria
Dottorato (corsi e scuole):Ciclo 24 > Scuole 24 > SCIENZE LINGUISTICHE, FILOLOGICHE E LETTERARIE > LINGUISTICA
Data di deposito della tesi:21 Gennaio 2013
Anno di Pubblicazione:21 Gennaio 2013
Parole chiave (italiano / inglese):Copula Variation Nigeria Pidgin Creole Variation Syntax Corpus Copula Variazione Nigeria Pidgin Creolo Variazione Sintassi Corpus
Settori scientifico-disciplinari MIUR:Area 10 - Scienze dell'antichità, filologico-letterarie e storico-artistiche > L-LIN/01 Glottologia e linguistica
Area 10 - Scienze dell'antichità, filologico-letterarie e storico-artistiche > L-OR/09 Lingue e letterature dell'Africa
Struttura di riferimento:Dipartimenti > Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari
Codice ID:5391
Depositato il:15 Ott 2013 14:49
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