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Passivization in Lunda
Citation Information: Journal of African Languages and Linguistics. Volume 28, Issue 1, Pages 37–56, ISSN (Online) 1613-3811, ISSN (Print) 0167-6164, DOI: 10.1515/JALL.2007.003, June 2007
- Published Online:
Studies have shown that passivization in Bantu languages is effected by means of a derivational suffix attached to the verb. This passivization pattern is residual and no longer productive in Lunda in that only a very small set of verbs allows the passive morphological suffix. It has been replaced by a new type of a passive construction which at face value appears as an impersonal construction because of the presence of the nonreferential class 2 third person plural subject prefix and the non-promotion of the non-agent to subjecthood in a clause. In this paper, I will show that the Lunda construction meets some of the characteristics of a canonical passive and that passivization also serves as one of the tests for transitivity despite the failure of the non-agent to become the subject of the clause.