A Typology of Verbal Derivation in Ethiopian Afro-Asiatic by Tolemariam Fufa

By Tolemariam Fufa

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The verb aläk’k’äs- ‘to cry’ contrasts with the nominal form läk’ïso ‘weep’ and agäss- ‘to bellow’ with gïsat ‘bellowing’. When causative a- is used as verbalizer, such a- derived verbs can be intransitives; they take one agentive argument as shown below: 33. ’ aläk’k’äs-ä CAUS: cry-3M:PF 39 Chapter 3 34. ’ aš-guwabbät’-ä CAUS- bend-3M:PF The verb aläkkäs- ‘to cry’ is not expressed ideophonically but the intransitive causative aš-guwabbat’- in (34) is derived from an intransitive base gobbät’- ‘to be bent’.

4. The Semantics of Oromo Causatives I discuss the meanings of Oromo causatives on the basis of Kulikov (2001). According to Kulikov (2001: 891-893), causative meanings are characterized as direct vs. indirect, permissive, assistive, declarative and deliberate vs. accidental causation. He also notes that causative verbs may have reciprocal, intensive, iterative and distributive meanings although such meanings are less motivated since they are not associated with the core function of the causative (Kulikov 2001: 894); I do not discuss such cases since they are not observed in Oromo (Meč’a dialect).

In (18) the causative verb is bit-ačč-iis-. In this example the middle marking is followed by the causative marking –iis- to give assistive causative meaning. Yet, it is often the case in other dialects that the suffixation of the causative morpheme –sisbut not preceded by the middle marking creates an assistive causative as in yaabsis- ‘to assist to mount on something’. In fact, most Oromo dialects do not have a separate marking for the assistive causative. 21 Chapter 2 In Oromo, similative causatives are used when someone speaks about somebody as if she/he were bringing about the causative event in the mind.

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