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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Within Niger-Congo, Gur is one of the families with the most highly developed agglutination systems in both the nominal and the verbal phrase. At the same time, the morphology of the Gur languages is characterized by a high rate of reduction and restructuring processes which can be best studied in the context of the nominal class systems, which reveal almost all evolutionary stages. Besides some lexical items, the reconstruction of a relatively high number of nominal class markers confirms the family’s strong relationship with Adamawa and Benue-Congo languages. The modern verbal systems are characterized by different aspect systems (marked by different verbal stems or suffixes) and by preverbal tense markers; post-verbal clitics denote assertion. Serial verb constructions are found in all languages, but more or less complementary to verbal derivations. Diathesis is expressed by moving patients to the subject position. Word order change is another prominent evolutionary phenomenon within the family.

Keywords: aspect, tense, word order, nominal class system, diathesis, serial verb construction

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