A Syntactic Analysis of Empty Categories in Ekegusii: A Minimalist Approach.
Ombati, Orpha Bonareri
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This study analyzed empty categories in Ekegusii morphosyntactically. The study of empty categories is important as these categories reflect deeper principles of Universal Grammar and thus help linguists to understand the nature of human language. This motivated the present study. The research objectives were: to determine the properties of empty categories in Ekegusii; to identify the role of empty categories in Ekegusii and lastly, to explain the empty categories in Ekegusii within the Minimalist Program. To achieve the above objectives, the study adopted a qualitative research design. The researcher used purposive sampling in choosing sentential constructions from the Bible for the study. Content analysis and introspection were used to elicit the data in the form of sentences. Empty categories were identified from such sentences for analysis using the qualitative approach. The analysis was done within the domain of the Minimalist Program. The following empty categories were identified and their properties and roles analyzed: PRO, WH-trace, NP-trace, the empty determiner and empty complementizer. The first three are classified as nominals because they occupy the argument position while the last two are functional empty categories. The theta roles of the empty categories were also examined. The findings showed that only the nominal empty categories are assigned theta roles by the verb while the heads do not receive the theta roles.PRO bears an agentive role. The WH-and NP-copies are assigned the theme role. The research findings of the study would contribute to the existing data on the syntax of empty categories and the linguistic theory. This study is organized into five chapters. The first one deals with the general introduction to the study; the second gives a review of related literature and the theoretical framework; the third looks at the research methodology; the fourth deals with data analysis and presentation. The final chapter is a conclusion that gives a summary of this research's findings. It also gives recommendations for further research.