Chapter published in:Antipassive: Typology, diachrony, and related constructions
Edited by Katarzyna Janic and Alena Witzlack-Makarevich
[Typological Studies in Language 130] 2021
► pp. 447–479
The profile and development of the Maa (Eastern Nilotic) antipassive
Maa (Eastern Nilotic) language varieties have nominative/accusative syntactic patterns, but also an antipassive construction marked by the verb suffix -ɪshɔ(r). This suffix turns an otherwise transitive construction into an intransitive one that can no longer express the P. Semantically the -ɪshɔ(r) construction focuses on the action of the verb or profiles long-term characteristics or ability of the agent. It is not required in imperfective situations, but most commonly does correlate with them. Interestingly, -ɪshɔ(r) may occur on some intransitive roots where it appears to highlight imperfectivity. The -ɪshɔ(r) antipassive construction does not appear to reconstruct to proto-Eastern Nilotic, though a verb root cognate with Maa ɪshɔ(r) ‘give’ does go back to a Proto-Maa-Lotuko-Lopit genetic node (though non-Maa languages within this group may lack the antipassive function). Given similarities between ɪshɔ(r) ‘give’ and the suffix -ɪshɔ(r), the possibility of an antipassive developing from ‘give’ is explored. Potential “drift” or borrowing under Kalenjin (Southern Nilotic) influence is also noted.
Keywords: valence, aspect, nominative alignment, diachrony, contact
Published online: 23 March 2021
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Cited by 2 other publications
Janic, Katarzyna & Alena Witzlack-Makarevich
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