Ghana Journal of Linguistics

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The multiple senses of sɔ in Sigu

Jonathan Allen Brindle


In Sigu, a previously unrecorded non-natural, secret, and sacred language, the high frequency and meaning variation of the verb sɔ are among the notable aspects of the language. The paper outlines the nature and distribution of the phenomenon using a lexical-translational approach and presents the different usage values of the verb. It then investigates the meanings of sɔ, and how its usage values are related. The analysis proposes that sɔ is lexically underspecified and that linguistic and non linguistic strategies work to narrow down the range of possible meanings.

Keywords: lexical manipulation, lexical semantics, underspecification, alternate language
AJOL African Journals Online