Bantu Applicative Constructions

Publication type: 
Sara Pacchiarotti

Pacchiarotti, S. (2020) Bantu Applicative Constructions.CSLI Publications.


This book focuses on different clause-level constructions involving reflexes of the Proto-Bantu multifunctional applicative *-ɪd. These constructions, widespread across the Bantu family, show that applicative morphology is not always syntactically valence-increasing. It performs many non-syntactic functions which are often not addressed in the relevant literature.

Besides comparative data from the entire Bantu domain, this work includes a first-ever historical case study of lexicalized, valence-neutral applicative constructions in the southern Bantu language Tswana. Sara Pacchiarotti shows that several non-syntactic functions of applicative morphology in Bantu have parallels in genealogically unrelated and geographically distant language families. Such often-overlooked cross-linguistic data represent a serious challenge for most current operational definitions of applicative morphology, inside and outside of Bantu, as being ontologically a morphosyntactic valence-increasing device.

Year of publication : 
CSLI Publications
Reference number: 
ISBN :13 978 1 68400 059 3