Alternations of Yorùbá

Alternations
Alternation name Description Examples Verbs
U
n The possessor of the object of the basic frame becomes the object of the alternate frame, and the object becomes a ní-phrase.
(44)
Ade fó̩ mi ní kòkò omi.
Ade
Ade
fó̩
break
mi
1SG.O
PREP
kòkò
pot
omi
water
‘Ade broke my water pot.’
8
U
n This alternation is commonly found with experiential verbs in Yoruba. The preverbal subject swaps position with the postverbal object without affecting the meaning of the construction.
(10)
È̩rù omi-òkun ba Ade.
è̩rù
fear
omi-òkun
water-ocean
ba
catch
Ade
Ade
‘Ade feared the ocean.’
6
U
n A prepositional argument of the basic frame becomes a prepositionless object of the alternate frame.
(17)
Ade ro ò̩rò̩ náà.
Ade
Ade
ro
think
ò̩rò̩
word
náà
DEF
‘Ade thought about the matter. / Ade thinks about/of the matter.’
3
U
n The patientive object argument of the basic frame becomes the subject in the alternate frame.
(23)
Bó̩lá múra.
Bó̩lá
Bola
múra
dress
‘Bola dressed.’
9
U
n The ní-theme argument of the basic frame is omitted in the derived frame.
(151)
Olùkó̩ni kó̩ wa.
olùkó̩ni
teacher
kó̩
teach
wa
1PL.O
‘The teacher taught us.’
1
U
n The postverbal ní-argument of the basic frame becomes a preverbal fi-argument of the alternate frame.
(78)
O̩bá fi o̩mo̩ rè̩ fún o̩de̩.
o̩bá
king
fi
take
o̩mo̩
child
rè̩
3SG.POSS
fún
give
o̩de̩
hunter
‘The king gave his child to the hunter.’
1
U
n The preverbal fi-argument (or adjunct) of the basic frame becomes a postverbal ní-argument of the alternate frame.
(51)
Ade lu o̩mo̩ wa ní ò̩pá.
Ade
Ade
lu
beat
o̩mo̩
child
wa
1PL.POSS
PREP
ò̩pá
staff
‘Ade beat our child with a staff.’
10
U
n The object of the basic frame becomes a preverbal fi-phrase in the alternate frame.
(74)
Obìrin náà fi ojúu rè̩ pamó̩.
obìrin
woman
náà
DEF
fi
take
ojúu
eye.POSS
rè̩
3SG.POSS
pamó̩
hide
‘The woman hid her face.’
1
U
n The -recipient argument of the basic frame is omitted in the alternate frame. The referent is inferred from the context. 0
U
n An oblique argument is dropped in the nonbasic fame.
(184)
Adé múra.
Adé
Ade
múra
dress
‘Ade dressed.’
2