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Niger-Congo Verb Extensions: Overview and Discussion
Larry M. Hyman
149-163 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper surveys and evaluates the status of derivational verb suffixes ("extensions") in the different branches of Niger-Congo, which vary in terms of how developed the verb extension system is and which specific extensions are present. It is suggested that Bantu, which is well known for its full extension system, may in fact have innovated the polysemous applicative extension, perhaps taking over the functions of earlier verb extensions marking recipient, benefactive, locative, and other adverbial arguments and adjuncts. Different scenarios are considered as to how the Niger-Congo verb extension system may have developed (e.g., from earlier verbs and prepositions) and evolved into the wide range of forms attested today.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference on African Linguistics
edited by Doris L. Payne and Jaime Peña
Table of contents
Printed edition: $250.00