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Journal of African Languages and Linguistics

Ed. by Ameka, Felix K. / Amha, Azeb

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Volume 39, Issue 2


Applicatives in Ya̧g Dii: Morphological and syntactic implications

Lee Bohnhoff / Mary Dalrymple
Published Online: 2018-11-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jall-2018-0006


Ya̧g Dii (Niger-Congo/Adamawa-Ubangi, Cameroon) has two applicative constructions: a benefactive/malefactive construction, and a comitative/instrumental (‘accompaniment’) construction. The benefactive/malefactive construction licenses the addition of an indirect object with a benefactive, malefactive, or other goal-like role. The construction is often marked by the verbal extension -D; notably, however, an indirect object with a benefactive/malefactive role can appear even if the applicative extension is absent, with a tendency for a benefactive reading to be associated with the presence of the affix, and a malefactive reading with the absence of the affix. The accompaniment applicative construction is always marked by the verbal extension -N, which attaches to an intransitive or transitive stem and marks the presence of an accompanier of the applied clause subject. Unlike the usual situation with applicatives, where the ‘applied’ argument bears a core argument role, the applied argument in the accompaniment applicative construction appears as an oblique dependent of the verb. We discuss the complicated verbal morphology used to express benefactive and comitative/instrumental applicatives, and the syntactic realization of the applied argument in each type.


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-11-12

Published in Print: 2018-11-06

Citation Information: Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, Volume 39, Issue 2, Pages 153–200, ISSN (Online) 1613-3811, ISSN (Print) 0167-6164, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jall-2018-0006.

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