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Bookmark and Share Paper 2770

Completion and Dissociation in Totela Tense and Aspect
Thera Marie Crane
208-220 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper evaluates four tense and aspect markers in Totela, a Bantu language of Zambia, arguing that traditional frameworks of tense and aspect are inadequate to describe their semantics and pragmatics. Instead, Bantu-specific frameworks such as that of Botne & Kershner (2008) are implemented, and these are found to allow for more explanatory and satisfactory analyses. Specifically, the markers examined highlight the importance of the completion status of the situation nucleus within Totela's aspectual system, and of cognitive dissociation in Totela's tense system. The paper argues for the need for further investigation of the importance of nuclear (non-)completion and of cognitive dissociation in tense/aspect systems cross-linguistically.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages in Context
edited by Michael R. Marlo, Nikki B. Adams, Christopher R. Green, Michelle Morrison, and Tristan M. Purvis
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00