Body-part adpositions in Gaahmg--Grammaticalized forms with person-marker vowels


  • Timothy M. Stirtz


adpositions, Gaahmg, locatives, body parts


Many African languages employ body parts as adpositions (Heine 1989), the general pattern in Gaahmg, with one locative postposition perhaps derived from ‘vagina’. In addition, Gaahmg has locative postpositions and locative pronouns that include a person-marker vowel: a, ə = 1st person; ɔ, u = 2nd person; ɛ, i = 3rd person. Most locative postpositions and locative pronouns are distinct in form and syntax from their source nouns, and postpositions with person-marker vowels do not synchronically refer to person. Thus, they are analyzed as grammaticalized forms, categorically distinct from nouns. In addition to describing these aspects of the grammar, we will posit two grammaticalization routes based on Heine’s (1989) model to trace the changes from the source nouns to the postpositions and locative pronouns.