Chapter in:Antipassive: Typology, diachrony, and related constructions
Edited by Katarzyna Janic and Alena Witzlack-Makarevich
[Typological Studies in Language 130] 2021
The profile and development of the Maa (Eastern Nilotic) antipassive
Maa (Eastern Nilotic) language varieties have nominative/accusative syntactic patterns, but also an antipassive construction marked by the verb suffix -ɪshɔ(r). This suffix turns an otherwise transitive construction into an intransitive one that can no longer express the P. Semantically the -ɪshɔ(r) construction focuses on the action of the verb or profiles long-term characteristics or ability of the agent. It is not required in imperfective situations, but most commonly does correlate with them. Interestingly, -ɪshɔ(r) may occur on some intransitive roots where it appears to highlight imperfectivity. The -ɪshɔ(r) antipassive construction does not appear to reconstruct to proto-Eastern Nilotic, though a verb root cognate with Maa ɪshɔ(r) ‘give’ does go back to a Proto-Maa-Lotuko-Lopit genetic node (though non-Maa languages within this group may lack the antipassive function). Given similarities between ɪshɔ(r) ‘give’ and the suffix -ɪshɔ(r), the possibility of an antipassive developing from ‘give’ is explored. Potential “drift” or borrowing under Kalenjin (Southern Nilotic) influence is also noted.
Keywords: valence, aspect, nominative alignment, diachrony, contact
Allam, Massimino & Hughell, Martha
n.d. Otuho dictionary database. Unpublished.
2001 Vowel harmony and cyclicity in Eastern Nilotic. In Proceedings of the 27th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, General Session and Parasession on Language and Gesture, Charles Chang, Michael J. Hauser, YuniKim, David Mortensen, Mischa Park-Doob & Maziat Toosarnvandani (eds), 1–12. Berkeley CA: BLS.
Brecht, Richard & Levine, James
Comrie, Bernard, Forker, Diana & Khalilova, Zaira
2012 The origin of antipassive markers in West Mande languages. Paper presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Stockholm, August 29-September 1. http://www.deniscreissels.fr/public/Creissels-West_Mande_antipassives.pdf (10 August 2020).
2009 Datives in Nilotic in a typological perspective. Afrikanistik-Aegyptologie-Online. http://www.afrikanistik-aegyptologie-online.de/archiv/2009/2355/ (10 August 2020).
Fortescue, Michael, Jacobson, Stephen & Kaplan, Lawrence
Janic, Katarzyna & Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena
2016 Passive and antipassive in Tugen. Paper presented at the Syntax of the World’s Languages 7 conference, Mexico City.
Payne, Doris L.
Payne, Doris L., Hamaya, Mitsuyo & Jacobs, Peter
2013 Antipassive constructions. In The World Atlas of Language Structures Online, Matthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds). Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. http://wals.info/chapter/108 (10 August 2020).
Tucker, Archibald N. & Mpaayei, John T.
Yap, Foong Ha & Iwasaki, Shoichi
2007 The emergence of GIVE passives in East and Southeast Asian languages. In SEALS VIII: Papers from the 8th meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (1998), Mark Alves, Paul Sidwell & David Gil (eds), 193–208. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University.