The semantics of depictive secondary predication in chiShona

  • Laston Mukaro
  • Victor Mugari


This article describes chiShona verb meaning using the event-based semantics approach. The analysis adopted in this article is couched within the framework first introduced by Davidson and then developed by many other scholars including Parsons, Dowty, Rapoport, Landman and Rothstein. The main aim is to have an appreciation of secondary predication as one way of dealing with verb semantics. This outline will use chiShona to show what true depictives are and how they behave, as well as proving that certain features of depictives, highlighted in literature, are not found in other languages of the world. It will be argued that in the chiShona language the subject and object orientation of the depictives is influenced by the overt agreement marking system. While in other languages, like English, it is argued that object-oriented depictives of activity verbs are ungrammatical, chiShona provides evidence as one of the languages where both subjectoriented and object-oriented depictives are grammatical. The arguments raised here inform future work on chiShona semantics and event semantics in general.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614