Volume 31, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Jalonke, a Mande language of Guinea, exhibits a formal split of intransitive verbs with respect to the possessive construction in which they appear. Whenever the single argument of a nominalized intransitive verb is linked to the possessor of the nominalized verb, an inalienable possessive construction is used with some verbs, and an alienable possessive construction with others. The inalienable possessive construction is also used for nominalized transitive verbs when possessed by their object participants, while the alienable possessive construction is used for transitive verbs possessed by their subject participants. Although synchronically not fully productive, this split points towards a diachronic explanation in terms of unaccusativity. It can be explained, however, without recurrence to different initial grammatical relations, but by relying on semantic differences only.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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