Case Checking in Igbo Serial Verb Constructions

Mary Amaechi


This paper has focused on serial verbs in Igbo. The aim was to find out how Case is checked by the series of verbs that make up a serial verb construction to their argument DPs. This syntactic interaction was analyzed with the Minimalist Program. A major finding of this study is that Igbo attests more serial constructions than those postulated in earlier literature and that verbs in serial constructions may (and not necessarily must, as defined by some scholars like Welmers (1973) and Bamgbose (1974)) share core argument (subject) and other arguments. It was also found that serial constructions do not create problem for the Case theory. The direct object of the first verb in a serial construction gets it original accusative Case, while the object of the second verb gets a genitive Case as checked by the Open Vowel Suffix in Igbo on the verb.

Keywords: Case, Igbo, serial verb, noun, subject, object

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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