Morphosyntactic verb inflections for tense and aspect in Kimbeere
This research project examines Kimbeere verbal inflections for tense and aspect within the theoretical framework of Minimalist Program. In this endeavour, the study seeks to provide a detailed and critical analysis of the distribution and interaction of tense and aspect verbal expressions in the language. The study will also evaluate the adequacy of the Minimalist Program in the analysis of tense and aspect systems of Kimbeere. As a recent outgrowth of the theory of Generative Grammar, the study establishes the Minimalist Program’s ability to account for the morphsyntactic nature of the verbal systems in Kimbeere. Chapter one gives the general background information on Kimbeere, a detailed description of the research problem and objectives of the study. It also gives the main tenets of Minimalist Program on which the analyses of this study are based. Literature review which is of benefit to this study as well as the methodology used to carry out the field research is discussed. Chapter two introduces basic language features in Kimbeere and the general inflectional verb constituents. Phonemic inventory is discussed in terms of vowel and consonant systems so as to understand the way the sounds of this language are patterned. The chapter also looks at the inflectional nature of the verb which consists of a root and affixes either prefixed of suffixed to the root. The verb root, the final vowel, focus marker, subject marker and object marker are discussed. The role of tone and vowel length in the verb phrase is also discussed. Chapter three bears the core of this study. It examines the Kimbeere tense system in the past, present and future, establishing the marking of tense by affixation, suprafixation of grammatical tone and by distinctive vowel length. The chapter also explores the co-occurrence of tense and aspect in the verbal system. Movement for feature checking for tense as proposed in Minimalist Program is also demonstrated. Chapter four identifies the inflectional forms for aspect and establishes how they are distributed in the verb phrase. The interaction of tense and aspect in the verb phrase is investigated. Lastly, verb movement for feature checking of aspect within the feature checking theory of the Minimalist Program is demonstrated. Finally, chapter five provides a summary of the research findings and conclusions by revisiting the research problem, objectives and hypotheses in the light of the observations made in the body of the research project.