Phasal Polarity in Bantu Languages : A typological study

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för lingvistik

Author: Althea Löfgren; [2019]

Keywords: aspect; bantu; phasal polarity; tense;

Abstract: This study explores a category of expressions akin to not yet, already, still and no longer, called PhasalPolarity (PhP) expressions and builds on the work of Löfgren (2018). PhP expressions encode the domainsof phasal values, polarity and speaker expectations and have previously been described in Europeanlanguages (van der Auwera: 1998) and in a small, genealogically diverse sample (van Baar: 1997).Using reference grammars as the primary source of information the aim of this study is to describe PhPexpressions in Bantu languages. The results confirm the findings in Löfgren (2018), the distribution andbehaviour of PhP expression in Bantu differs from both European languages and the genetically diversesample of van Baar. The markers are found to be morphologically diverse and the verbal morphotax indicatesthat the markers are, or are in the process of, being incorporated into the tense-aspect systemsof their respective language. Furthermore, the cross-linguistic frequency of PhP expressions seem tohave areal or genealogical tendencies.

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