A comparative study of external possession in the Bantu languages
This paper provides an analysis of the phenomenon commonly known as external possession in the Bantu languages. On the basis of comparative data, I argue for a prototype approach to the intricate problem of determining the conditions of use of such constructions, which I rename Concernee-Concern constructions, introducing two new terms for the thematic roles involved. Situations can be expressed by means of Concernee-Concern construction if they correspond to the prototypical situation that involves somebody’s body part being affected by an action, or if they show a family resemblance to this situation. I argue against the relevance of alienability. The paper also provides a formal typology of Concernee-Concern constructions in the Bantu languages.
Keywords: external possession, Bantu, alienability, prototypicality, applicative suffix
Published online: 06 May 2020
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