Clause chaining across the Sahara
Clause chaining is a clause-linking strategy which stands in between coordination and subordination, combining the lack of embeddedness of the former with the dependence of the latter (Foley and Van Valin, 1984). A finite verb form may be either preceded or followed by one or several less-finite forms: these two options are referred to as medial-final and initial-medial clause chaining, respectively. While medial-final chaining is attested all over the world, initial-medial chaining was until recently deemed to be unattested; however, recent research has demonstrated its existence in several Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan languages. While Berber (Afroasiatic) was long neglected in the relevant typological literature, Mauri (in press) has shown that Berber’s Chained-Aorist construction is an instance of initial-medial clause chaining. This paper highlights the similarities between Berber’s Chained Aorist and the clause-chaining constructions of some genetically-unrelated sub-Saharan languages. These similarities might support an interpretation of initial-medial clause chaining in these languages as an areal feature.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Simone Mauri, "Clause chaining across the Sahara", in: "Cultural and Linguistic Transition explored. Proceedings of the ATrA closing workshop Trieste, May 25-26, 2016", Ilaria Micheli (ed.), Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017, pp. 274-290