Comparison in Bambara an infinitival verb phrase


  • Jan Charles-Luce


infinitive verb, syntax, Bambara, comparatives


An infinitival verb phrase is generated to express comparison in Bambara. In particular, the comparative verb INFINITIVE MARKER + INTRANSITIVE phrase has the structure: VERB + NP + POSTPOSITION. The structural constraints on the comparative verb phrase are not specific to comparison, but are the more general constraints resulting from concatenating verb phrases. However, a special structural and pragmatic relation is established between the head clause and the comparative infinitival verb phrase. This relation has consequences for the structure of the NP in the comparative phrase and for deletion of lexical items within the comparative phrase. In this respect, the comparative infinitival phrase behaves differently from non-comparative infinitival verb phrases.