Polysemie du verbe manger chez les Dagara du Burkina Faso


  • Penou-Achille Some


Dagara, event structure


In Dagara, the most common translation for the verb di is 'eat'. Other translations, however, are: 'spend, take advantage of 'burn, wear out, hurt, be infected,' 'be named x, look like x, be x only by name,' and 'be topmost, reach the target, make good for a bad situation'. For each of these meanings, di always differs from its false-synonyms ('munch, blaze, wear, hurt, call, be or have, resemble, manage, make up for. . .'). We distinguish two main types, one where di is a verb of accomplishment, and one where di is a verb of state. The investigation reveals how grammatical structure fits with semantics as well as ethnological data, mainly through a constant valuation of the state of affairs by the Speaker. The article concludes by showing how all of the meanings can be united around a single common, abstract schema.