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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article aims to provide an overview of grammatical developments or grammaticalisation in African languages. It shows that grammaticalisation theory not only offers a means of reconstructing earlier states in the history of African languages but can also be of use for explaining structural characteristics of these languages. The results indicate that a number of African languages have a distinction between an inclusive and exclusive first person plural in their system of personal pronouns, which can be explained as being the result of the grammaticalisation of a noun for persons or people.

Keywords: African languages, grammaticalisation, structural characteristics, first person plural, noun, persons, people

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