International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 278

Full Length Research Paper

The role of applicative morphology in marking the telicity of applicative verbs in Ruruuli-Lunyala

Atuhairwe Amos
  • Atuhairwe Amos
  • Department of African Languages, School of Languages, Literature and Communication Skills, Makerere University, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 13 February 2020
  •  Accepted: 26 May 2020
  •  Published: 31 August 2020


This study examines the role of the morphology of applicatives in marking the telicity of applicative verbs in Ruruuli-Lunyala. Applicative verbs in Bantu languages have largely been investigated as allowing a new object Noun Phrase (NP) within the subcategorization of their base verb; this leads to a change of valency with the new Noun Phrase (NP) often giving a certain thematic role. However, less attention has been put on the role of the applicative in supporting the notion that argument projection may be aspectually determined. All applicative verbs in Ruruuli-Lunyala can be used with specialised overt telicity markers kakyarumwei ‘completely’ / ’very’/ ‘a lot’ and were ‘for nothing’. The research findings indicate an interesting relationship between these degree modifiers and applicative morphology. Thus, applicative verbs can be classified into two types, namely atelic and non-atelic applicative verbs. The post-verbal ‘applied object’ position /applicative adverbial position can be called the ‘applied constituent position’.
Key words: Applicative morphology, telicity, metathesis, applicative adverbial.