Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper provides an analysis of the phenomenon commonly known as external possession in the Bantu languages. On the basis of comparative data, I argue for a prototype approach to the intricate problem of determining the conditions of use of such constructions, which I rename , introducing two new terms for the thematic roles involved. Situations can be expressed by means of Concernee-Concern construction if they correspond to the prototypical situation that involves somebody’s body part being affected by an action, or if they show a family resemblance to this situation. I argue against the relevance of alienability. The paper also provides a formal typology of Concernee-Concern constructions in the Bantu languages.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): alienability; applicative suffix; Bantu; external possession; prototypicality
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