Auxiliary verb constructions in the languages of Africa

Gregory D. S. Anderson


Auxiliary verb constructions–constructions with two or more elements of verbal origin, one of which expresses functional semantic categories–are widespread among the languages of Africa. In the following discussion, I present a typology of inflection in auxiliary verb constructions [AVCs] in the languages of Africa. While there are several macro-patterns of distribution seen in the various African languages, only a small selection are presented in some detail here, viz. the doubled and split/doubled inflectional patterns, along with the fusing of subject markers and TAM/polarity auxiliaries into so-called tensed pronouns that are relatively more common in AVCs across the languages of the continent than in most other parts of the world.


African Linguistics; auxiliary verbs; morphology

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