Verbal pluralization strategies in Plateau
Keywords:Benue-Congo, Plateau-languages, comparative verbal morphology, pluractional stems
Pluractional verbs are found in many Plateau (and adjacent Chadic) languages. The present study looks into the distribution of a stock of common markers of pluractionality. These are *s, *n, *k, and *d, all reminiscent of Proto-Bantu verb extensions. While these extensions each function differently in Bantu languages, in the Plateau area they serve a common function: that of expressing verbal pluractional stems. The surface manifestations of pluractionality present a picture of utter complexity in most of the languages studied. The study endeavors to reconstruct the strategies different languages have followed to create a synchronic chaos from a relatively clear picture in the proto-stage. Phonological changes and morphophonemic constraints are the major cause of surface differences. It is argued that the similarities observed between the pluractional forms of the languages treated here are due to internal developments rather than to language contact.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Ludwig Gerhardt
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