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Title: An Analysis of Verbal Affixes in Kikongo with Special Reference to Form and Function
Authors: Mbiavanga, Fernando
Keywords: African Languages
Niger-Congo Languages
Atlantic-Congo Languages
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: University of South Africa
Abstract: The relation between verbal affixes and their effect on the predicate argument structure of the verbs that host them has been the focus of many studies in linguistics, with special reference to Bantu languages in recent years. Given the colonial policy on indigenous languages in Angola, Kikongo, as is the case of other Bantu languages in that country, has not been sufficiently studied. This study explores the form and function of six verbal affixes, including the order in which they occur in the verb stem. The study maintains that the applicative and causative are valency-increasing verbal affixes and, as such, give rise to double object constructions in Kikongo. The passive, reciprocal, reflexive and stative are valency-decreasing and, as such, they reduce the valency of the verb by one object. This study also suggests that Kikongo is a symmetrical object language in which both objects appear to have equal status.
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