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Bantu Applicative Constructions

Bantu Applicative Constructions

Sara Pacchiarotti

This book focuses on different clause-level constructions involving reflexes of the Proto-Bantu multifunctional applicative *-ɪd. These constructions, widespread across the Bantu family, show that applicative morphology is not always syntactically valence-increasing. It performs many non-syntactic functions which are often not addressed in the relevant literature.

Besides comparative data from the entire Bantu domain, this work includes a first-ever historical case study of lexicalized, valence-neutral applicative constructions in the southern Bantu language Tswana. Sara Pacchiarotti shows that several non-syntactic functions of applicative morphology in Bantu have parallels in genealogically unrelated and geographically distant language families. Such often-overlooked cross-linguistic data represent a serious challenge for most current operational definitions of applicative morphology, inside and outside of Bantu, as being ontologically a morphosyntactic valence-increasing device.

Sara Pacchiarotti is currently a postdoctoral researcher in historical linguistics within the BantuFirst project (2018-2022) at the UGent Centre for Bantu Studies, Ghent University, Belgium. She obtained a PhD in linguistics from the University of Oregon in 2017. Besides Mòòré (Niger-Congo, Burkina Faso), Tswana (Niger-Congo, Botswana) and West-Coastal Bantu (Niger-Congo, DRC), she has also worked on the morphosyntax of Bribri (Chibchan, Costa Rica).

May 2020


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Data Challenges to Applicative Definitions
  • 3 Preliminaries to Bantu *-ɪd Applicative Constructions
  • 4 Structure of Bantu *-ɪd Applicative Construction Types
  • 5 Functions of Bantu *-ɪd Applicative Construction Types
  • 6 Pseudoapplicative Constructions in Tswana
  • 7 Historical Origin(s) and Function(s) of the PB Applicative *-ɪd
  • 8 Conclusions
  • Appendix A: Abbreviations
  • Appendix B: Selected Tswana Pseudoapplicative Stems
  • References
  • Language Index
  • Subject Index

ISBN (Paperback): 1684000599 (9781684000593)

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