Rethinking narrative tenses based on data from Nalu (Atlantic) and Yeyi (Bantu)*

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This paper looks at how the forms used to indicate past events interact to create a coherent narrative in Yeyi (Bantu) and Nalu (Atlantic). The examination focuses on how past narrative spaces are first constructed and then contextualized (elaborated on) through a stage-setting past form that is followed by one or two different narrative forms. The existence of not one, but two specialized narrative forms in these languages casts doubt on the notion that the indication of sequentiality constitutes their central function. The different ways of construction and contextualization are examined using the concepts of detachment and dimensionalization.


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