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Converb constructions and clause chaining in Cushitic


This chapter describes the morphology and syntax of converbs in eleven Cushitic languages, with a special focus on Beja and Kambaata. Cushitic converbs are used in clause-chaining function but chains are considerably shorter than in e.g. Papuan languages. In some languages, converbal clauses qualify as embedded clauses. Across the Cushitic family, converbs display considerable formal and functional variation. On a morphological cline of finiteness, converbs range from strictly nonfinite to partially finite forms. Between one and six converb types, with different degrees of semantic specialization, are distinguished in individual languages. Only in one genetic subgrouping are converbs marked for switchreference. The final part of this chapter discusses the use of converbs beyond clause combining and provides examples of lexicalization and grammaticalization. Most importantly, converbs are shown to form part of complex predicates.
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hal-03673209 , version 1 (19-05-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03673209 , version 1


Yvonne Treis, Martine Vanhove. Converb constructions and clause chaining in Cushitic. Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald & Hannah Sarvasy. Clause chaining in the languages of the world, Oxford University Press, In press. ⟨hal-03673209⟩
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