IMPLICIT ARGUMENTS IN UGANDAN ENGLISH
Bebwa Isingoma https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1203-5951
Affiliation: Gulu University, Uganda
In standard British/American English, some transitive verbs, which are ontologically specified for objects, may be used with the objects not overtly expressed (for example, leave), while other transitive verbs do not permit this syntactic behavior (for example, vacate). The former have been referred to as verbs that allow implicit arguments. This study shows that while verbs such as vacate do not ideally allow implicit arguments in standard British/American English, this is permitted in Ugandan English (a non-native variety), thereby highlighting structural asymmetries between British/American English and Ugandan English, owing mainly to substrate influence and analogization. The current study highlights those structural asymmetries and ultimately uncovers some characteristic features in the structural nativization process of English in Uganda, thereby contributing to the growing larger discourse meant to fill the gaps that had characterized World Englishes scholarship, where thorough delineations of Ugandan English have been virtually absent.
Keywords: implicit arguments, Ugandan English, structural nativization, L2 English, substrate influence, analogization
Received: 7 July 2021
Reviewed: 29 August 2021
Accepted: 30 November 2021
Published: 30 December 2021
Isingoma, B. (2021). Implicit Arguments in Ugandan English. English Studies at NBU, 7(2), 147-166. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.21.2.2
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754340 through a fellowship at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Study (FRIAS), University of Freiburg, Germany.
Copyright © 2021 Bebwa Isingoma
This open access article is published and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. If you want to use the work commercially, you must first get the authors' permission.
Anthony, L. (2014). AntConc (Version 3.4.4w) Computer Software. Tokyo: Waseda University. http://www.laurenceanthony.net
Blench, R. (2006). A Dictionary of Ghanaian English.
BNC (British National Corpus). https://www.english-corpora.org/bnc
Buregeya, A. (2019). Kenyan English. De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614516255
COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English). http://corpus.byu.edu/coca
COHA (Corpus of Historical American English). http://corpus.byu.edu/coha
Davies, M. & Fuchs, R. (2015). Expanding horizons in the study of World Englishes with the 1.9 billion word Global Web-based English Corpus (GloWbE). English World-Wide, 36, 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1075/eww.36.1.01dav
Edmonds, P. & Hirst, G. (2002). Near-synonyms and Lexical Choice. Computational Linguistics 28, 105-144. https://doi.org/10.1162/089120102760173625
Esimaje, U. A, & Hunston, S. (2019). What is Corpus Linguistics? In Esimaje U. A, Gut, U. & Antia E. B. (Eds.), Corpus Linguistics and African Englishes (pp. 7-35). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.88
Fillmore, J. C. (1986). Pragmatically Controlled Zero Anaphora. Berkeley Linguistics Series 12, 95-107. https://doi.org/10.3765/bls.v12i0.1866
Fisher, E. C. A. (2000). Assessing the State of Ugandan English. English Today 16(1), 57–61. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266078400011470
Gillon, S. B. (2007). On the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction. Synthese 165, 373-384. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-007-9186-5
Glass, L. (2014). What Does It Mean for Implicit Arguments to Be Recoverable?. U.Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 20, 121-130.
GloWbE (Global Web-based English Corpus). https://www.english-corpora/org/glowbe
Haspelmath, M. 2007. Further Remarks on Reciprocal Constructions. In Nedjalkov P. V. (Ed.), Reciprocal Constructions: Typological Studies in Language, (pp. 2087-2115). John Benjamins.
Hocking, D. W. B. (1974). “All What I Was Taught, and other Mistakes”: A Handbook of Common Errors in English. Oxford University Press.
Hopper, J. P. & Thompson, A. S. (1980). Transitivity in Grammar and Discourse. Language 56(2), 251-299. https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1980.0017
Huber, M. & Dako, K. (2004). Ghanaian English: Morphology and Syntax. In Kortmann, B. & Schneider, W. E. (Eds.), A Handbook of Varieties of English, Volume II: Morphology and Syntax (pp. 854-865). Mouton de Gruyter.
Huddleston, R. (2002). The Clause: Complements. In Huddleston R. & Pullum K. G. (Eds.), The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (pp. 213-322). CUP.
ICE-UG (International Corpus of English – Uganda). https://www.rub.de/englin/ResearchUG3.html
Isingoma, B. & Meierkord, C. (2019). Capturing the Lexicon of Ugandan English: ICE-Uganda and its Effective Complements. In Esimaje U. A, Gut, U. & Antia E. B. (Eds.), Corpus Linguistics and African Englishes (pp. 294-328). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.88.13isi
Isingoma, B. (2014). Lexical and Grammatical Features of Ugandan English. English Today 30(2), 51-56. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266078414000133
Isingoma, B. (2018). Accounting for Variability in the Linearization of Ditransitive Constructions in English among Native Speakers. Argumentum, 14, 383-399.
Isingoma, B. (2020). Implicit Arguments in English and Rutooro: A Contrastive Study. Linguistik Online, 101(1), 19–47. https://doi.org/10.13092/lo.101.6671
Iten, C., Junker, M. O. Pyke, A., Stainton, R., & Wearing, C. (2005). Null Complements: Licensed by Syntax or by Semantics-Pragmatics? Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Canadian Linguistic Association, 1-15.
Jowitt, D. (2019). Nigerian English. De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781501504600
Kilgarriff, A., Baisa, V., Bušta, J., Jakubíček, M., Kovvář, V. , Michelfeit, J. , Rychlý, P. & Suchomel V. (2014). The Sketch Engine: ten years on. Lexicography ASIALEX 1, 7-36. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40607-014-0009-9
Levin, B. & Hovav-Rappaport, M. (1995). Unaccusativity: At the Syntax-Lexical Semantic Interface. The MIT Press.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (LDOCE). www.ldoceonline.com
Merriam-Webster Dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com
Mukherjee, J. (2009). The lexicogrammar of Present-day Indian English: A Corpus-based Perspective on Structural Nativisation. In Römer, U. & Rainer, S. (Eds.). Exploring the Lexis-Grammar Interface (pp. 117-1369). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.35.9muk
Namyalo, S., Isingoma, B. & Meierkord, C. (2016). Towards Assessing the Space of English in Uganda’s Linguistic Ecology: Facts and Issues. In Meierkord C., Isingoma B., & Namyalo, S. (Eds.), Ugandan English: Its Sociolinguistics, Structure and Uses in a Globalizing Post-protectorate (pp. 19-49). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g59.02nam
Németh, T. E. (2000). Occurrence and Identification of Implicit Arguments in Hungarian. Journal of Pragmatics 32, 1657–1682. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00114-9
Németh, T. E., & Bikok, K. (2010). Interaction between Grammar and Pragmatics: The Case of Implicit Arguments, Implicit Predicates and Co-composition in Hungarian. Journal of Pragmatics 42, 501-524. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2009.07.001
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD), Ninth Edition. OUP.
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) – CD-ROM Version 4.0. 2009. OUP.
Pethö, G. & Kardos, E. (2010). Cross-linguistic Evidence and the Licensing of Implicit Arguments. In Brehrens, B. & Fabricius-Hansen, C. (Eds.), Structuring Information in Discourse: the Explicit/Implicit Dimension. Oslo Studies in Language 1(1), 33-61. https://doi.org/10.5617/osla.3
Ruda, M. (2014). Missing Objects in Special Registers: The Syntax of Null Objects in English. Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue Canadienne de Linguistique 59(3), 339-372. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0008413100000396
Ruda, M. (2017). On the Syntax of Missing Objects: A Study with Special Reference to English, Polish, and Hungarian. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/la.244
Ruppenhofer, J. & Michaelis, A. L. (2014). Frames and Interpretation of Omitted Arguments in English. In Bourns, K. S. & Myers, L. L. (Eds.), Perspectives on Linguistic Structure and Context (pp. 57-84). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.244.04rup
Schneider, W. E. (2007). Postcolonial English: Varieties of English Around the World. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.244.04rup
Siemund, P. (2014). The Emergence of English Reflexive Verbs: An Analysis Based on the Oxford English Dictionary. English Language & Linguistics 18(1), 49-73. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674313000270
Velasco, D. G. & Muñoz, C. P. (2002). Understood Objects in Functional Grammar. Working Papers in Functional Grammar 76, 1-24.
1. Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
Review Content: Undisclosed
Review Verified on Publons
2. Reviewer's name: Undisclosed
Review Content: Undisclosed
Review Verified on Publons
Handling Editor: Stan Bogdanov
Verified Editor Record on Publons