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Valency-decreasing and detransitivizing morphology in Bantu languages (Niger-Congo)

Lecture, Research profile seminar

Lecture within the research area Languages, Literature and Culturality. All interested are welcome!

In this talk I present an overview of my research on Bantu verbal morphology encoding valency-decreasing alternations and reducing syntactic transitivity. In most Bantu languages we find a set of seven such verbal morphemes, and because of their widespread attestation they have been reconstructed to Proto-Bantu, the most recent common ancestor of the family. The Proto-Bantu reconstructed forms and their functionally-based names are: the reflexive *ji- , the associative/reciprocal *-an, the extensive *-ad, the neuter *-ik, the passive *-(ib)u, the positional *-am, and the intransitive separative *-uk. Until recently, these morphemes had not received much attention in the Bantu linguistics tradition. My goal is to arrive at a better understanding of how valency-decreasing and detransitivizing morphology works in individual Bantu languages, how the morphemes¿ meanings and functions differ across languages and what that can tell us about how they have evolved and changed over time. To conclude the talk, I will tie my previous work to the current research project on valency-decreasing alternations in East-Ruvu Bantu languages which is carried out at the SPL department of Göteborgs Universitet.

Date: 4 June 2020

Lecturer: Sebastian Dom, postdoc, African languages

Date: 6/4/2020

Time: 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM

Categories: Research, Linguistics, Humanities, Language

Organizer: institutionen för språk och litteraturer


Seminariet hålls via Zoom; mejla till evie.cousse@sprak.gu.se för länk till mötet.

Contact person: Evie Coussé

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