Van de Velde, Mark (2020). Concernee-Concern constructions: a comparative study of external possession in the Bantu languages. “Studies in Language” 44:1, 70-94.


Prefinal version.

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 Concernee-Concern constructions, 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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Posted on

16 January 2020