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Hone

image of Hone

Hone is a Jukun language of Nigeria which exhibits patterns of participant coding that are characteristic for a linguistic area which encompasses Chadic, Plateau, Adamawa and Jukunoid languages. But instead of displaying the typical intransitive copy pronoun constructions that are often found in the area, Hone uses syntactic and nominal formatives to indicate transitivity and changes of valency. While there are no morphological traces of intransitivity, there exist specific syntactic patterns that allow for intransitive constructions. It is intriguing that deverbal nouns that occur as cognate objects in such constructions are the only nouns with a highly productive morphology. A feature of particular interest in the context of coding participant marking is mirativity. In Hone, mirative meaning is expressed by a particular pronoun which refers to the agent and correlates with the strategies of subject focus in Hone. The different strategies of coding participant marking are discussed with reference to the typology of word classes and the diachronic processes that have led to the current situation in Hone.

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