Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Serial Verbs
(2,589 words)

The term ‘serial verbs’ is used in the literature to indicate a verbal syntagm consisting of two (or more) finite verbs without a formal coordinating marker but with the same argument structure, one of which is semantically demoted, often grammaticalized, and lexically restricted (Sebba 1987:39). Constructions with serial verbs are familiar from a wide group of languages, ranging from Mandarin Chinese to West African languages like Yoruba. Examples are given in (1) – (3).

(1)

(Mandarin Chinese)

ta

lai

shang

ban

he

come

go.up

shift

‘He comes to work’ (Dai 1990:327)

(2)

( Sranan)

a

waka

go

na…

Cite this page
Kees Versteegh, “Serial Verbs”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 15 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_COM_0305>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831



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