Aspect and Evidentiality in Four Bantu Languages

Thera Marie Crane, Hilde Gunnink, Ponsiano Kanijo, Tim Roth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Fully grammaticalized, obligatory evidentiality systems are thought to be rare in the languages of Africa in general, and in the Bantu languages in particular. However, ongoing semantic research in Bantu languages continues to uncover systems that are primarily evidential in their semantics, as well as other grammatical categories that can be exploited to express evidential distinctions. In this chapter, we discuss four geographically and typologically diverse Bantu languages – Fwe, Nyamwezi, Nzadi, and Ikoma – in which distinct grams with overlapping tempo-aspectual readings exhibit salient distinctions in their evidential force . The evidentiality distinctions seen in the languages discussed add further support for the robust cross-linguistic link between resultatives and indirect evidentials. Links between progressive aspect and “authoritive” (first-hand sensory or trusted second-hand) evidentials are also suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeyond Aspectual Semantics : Explorations in the Pragmatic and Cognitive Realms of Aspect
EditorsAstrid De Wit, Frank Brisard, Carol Madden-Lombardi, Michael Meeuwis, Adeline Patard
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date7 Mar 2024
ISBN (Print)9780192849311
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2024
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

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