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Journal Articles Journal of West African Languages Year : 2022

The lexical semantics of verbs in the Babanki food domain

Pius W. Akumbu


In this paper we investigate the semantics of verbs in Babanki, a Central Ring Grassfields Bantu language of NorthWest Cameroon. We focus on the semantic sub-domains of food collection, processing, serving and consumption where closely related verbs describe the manner of manipulating specific nouns which occur in object position. We show that instead of installing a hypernym in certain semantic domains, hyponyms which differ with respect to the direct objects they describe are generated in a specific semantic space. Consequently, there are semantic collocations which hold between transitive verbs and their direct objects (which take the semantic role of patient), based on matching with respect to semantic parameters such as the nature of an object and the manner of manipulating it. Such intricacies present interesting and revealing semantic effects since they speak about an object by changing the verb, not the noun.
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hal-03910391 , version 1 (22-12-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03910391 , version 1


Pius W. Akumbu, Roland Kiessling. The lexical semantics of verbs in the Babanki food domain. Journal of West African Languages, 2022, 49 (2), pp.34-55. ⟨hal-03910391⟩
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