Bantu verbal derivation and tense/aspect from a historical-comparative perspective. The Kikongo language cluster and beyond

Start - End 
2014 - 2018 (completed)
Department of Languages and Cultures
Research Focus 
Research Region 
Research Language 



This PhD deals with the semantics of two major parts of the Bantu verbal system, namely derivation and tense/aspect, from a comparative and diachronic perspective. With respect to derivation, the aim of the PhD project is to relate a number of verbal affixes, which are found throughout Bantu, to the grammatical category of “middle voice”. With respect to tense/aspect, one aim of the PhD project is to present a first large-scale comparative overview of the most common tense/aspect constructions in the Kikongo Language Cluster from which i) Proto-Bantu retentions and ii) innovations from different stages in time can be identified. The isoglosses of the most common tense/aspect constructions can be confronted with the isoglosses of lexically-based phylogenetic subgroups, where both similarities and mismatches between the two provide relevant information about language history. A second aim of the study is to describe the diachrony of tense/aspect constructions and paradigms on the basis of different methods, such as the Comparative Method and/or Diachronic Corpus Linguistics.




Phd Student(s)