Areal and inherited aspects of compound verbs in Khoekhoe

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Verb compounding in Khoekhoe, a branch of the Khoe family, has been claimed to be directly related to similar constructions in the Tuu family. Compound verbs are also found in the other primary branch of Khoe, Kalahari Khoe. In this paper I argue that verb compounding in both Khoe branches is inherited from Proto-Khoe. More specifically, I claim that contrary to a widely held opinion the so-called ‘juncture’ – a marker typically found in compound verbs in Kalahari Khoe – has a cognate in Khoekhoe in the form of a specific tone change. This means that in the area of verb compounding the two branches are more similar and the Tuu substrate in Khoekhoe is weaker than appears to have been thought.


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