The Bantu connective construction

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The Bantu equivalent of a genitive construction, a construction in which a nominal constituent modifies another one, is part of a family of constructions commonly called the <i>connective construction</i>. This paper analyses the family of Bantu connective constructions from a perspective inspired by canonical typology. I first define a canonical type and subsequently discuss departures from this type along five dimensions. The resulting picture shows a functionally extremely versatile construction type in a grammatical space that lacks clear-cut boundaries between genitives, adjectives and relative clauses. Connective constructions are a frequent source of lexicalisation, and of grammaticalisation patterns that often lead to agreement in unusual places.


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