A structural analysis of the Igbo comparative ka and its grammaticalised status
Keywords:Grammaticalisation, Igbo comparative, Verb serialisation, Complex predicate, Comparison
Over the years, the study of Igbo comparative markers has received very little attention in morphosyntax research. In a few existing literature where they are mentioned in passing, scholars unanimously project the verb ‘ka’ ‘surpass’ as a comparative marker. Little or no attempt has been made to investigate its varying contexts of occurrence and its gradual transition from a purely lexical to a grammaticalised function. This work, therefore attempts to bridge the existing gap in the extant literature by examining extensively, the Igbo comparative, ka and its grammaticalised status. We adopt the parameters of grammaticalisation in measuring the autonomy and grammaticalised status of the comparative verb ka. Data for this study were obtained from both primary (introspective and field data) and secondary sources (corpus data) of the standard Igbo and other varieties of Igbo such as the Awka dialect.
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