Edited by Sylvie Hancil and Vittorio Tantucci
[Studies in Language Companion Series 232] 2023
► pp. 74–102
This study accounts for the grammaticalization of the verb -maɾa ‘finish’ in the language varieties of the Western Serengeti branch of the Mara subgroup of Eastern Bantu. In these varieties, -maɾa is found in two different auxiliary verb constructions marking the two interrelated Phasal Polarity concepts of already and not yet. Whereas ‘finish’ in general and -maɾa cognates in particular are commonly grammaticalized into already in Bantu, the parallel development of a not yet ‑marker from the same source constitutes a much rarer development. Nonetheless, we propose that both constructions developed out of the same need to reinforce a reading of (non-)completion (and counter-factuality) and that they instantiate recurrent cyclic patterns of change significant for Eastern Bantu more broadly.