Ịzọn verbal extensions


  • Roger Blench
  • Kay Williamson


African languages, Ịjọ, verbal extensions, morphology, argument structure


Systems of verbal extension, consisting of affixes that alter argument structure, are widely reported in the world, and are scattered throughout Africa, where they compete with strategies such as serial verbs and auxiliaries, plus verbal collocations. The Ijoid languages can have suffixed verbal extensions, but these are constructed out of very limited segmental material. There is an example of what seems to be a composite extension, but Ijoid does not generally allow seriated extensions. The paper describes the extensions that have been identified in Ịzọn and presents an analysis of their possible semantics. Although there are broad typological similarities to other branches of Niger-Congo, there are no transparent segmental cognates, suggesting that the Ịjọ system may be innovative.