Article in:Studies in Language: Online-First Articles
Non-culmination in two Bantu languages
This paper describes an exploratory approach to two related aspectual phenomena, non-culminating accomplishments and non-culminating construals of implied-result verbs, in the Bantu languages Xhosa and Nyakyusa. While documented for a diverse array of languages, leading to the identification of some cross-linguistic commonalities and axes of variation, these phenomena have so far not been studied for any continental African language. Both Xhosa and Nyakyusa license non-culminating accomplishments but differ regarding the felicity of such construals with different sub-types of accomplishments in relation to event progress, a decisive factor being that Nyakyusa possesses verbal partitive morphology. Concerning the non-culmination of implied-result verbs, both languages show such readings and support prior cross-linguistic findings that zero change readings are more readily available with agentive subjects. The data further point to the potential role of causative morphology as a parameter of variation to be considered in further comparative research on these verbs.
Keywords: aspect, actionality, aktionsart, non-culminating accomplishments, Bantu languages
Published online: 25 March 2021
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