on On self-intensifiers and reflexive pronouns in Gurenε and Dagbani

  • Samuel Alhassan Issah University of Education, Winneba
  • Avea Nsoh University of Education, Winneba
  • Dr Accra College of Education
Keywords: Mabia, Dagbani, Gurenε, intensifiers, reflexives, distribution, alternatives, anaphoric


The article discusses self-intensifiers and reflexive pronouns in two Mabia (Gur) languages of Ghana, Gurenε and Dagbani. We show that reflexive pronouns in both languages are bimorphemic comprising of a personal pronoun and the reflexivizer -miŋa and -maŋa ‘self’ for Gurenε and Dagbani respectively. We again, show that self-intensifiers and reflexives are morphologically distinct as the former has additional morpheme -maŋ and -m/ for Dagbani and Gurenε respectively which we analyse as being responsible for the emphatic readings of self-intensifiers. We also demonstrate that reflexives are invariably in the same clause with their antecedents. We however, contend that unlike Dagbani, the third person emphatic eŋa ‘she/he’ and its weak counterpart a ‘she/he’ are mutually exclusive in Gurenε explaining why personal names are incompatible with the former. Finally, we demonstrate that adnominal and inclusive intensifiers seem to have similar distribution suggesting that Gurenε and Dagbani data suggest that it does not seem motivating to divide the intensifying use in three subtypes.