Edited by Norval Smith, Tonjes Veenstra and Enoch O. Aboh
[Contact Language Library 57] 2020
► pp. 217–234
Transfer of Swahili ‘until’ in contact with East African languages
Swahili has transformed the noun mpaka ‘boundary, border’ into a function word ‘until’, which has successfully spread to many other East African languages with locative and temporal readings. The grammaticalisation originated in a N-N construction without an associative ‘of’ interpreted as limiting the action adverbially. The main function is in the time interpretation of ‘until’. I provide an overview of this transfer in East Africa by looking at a large number of languages and argue that parallel independent grammaticalisation is not what is at stake but rather transfer of the function word and the preposition-like function.
- 2.The grammaticalisation of ‘boundary’ to ‘until’
- 3.The construction with mpaka ‘until’ in Swahili
- 4.Borrowing mpaka in East Africa