The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 11/16 - Isaac Gould

Please join us for Syntax Square this week. Isaac Gould will present his work on the Grassfields Bantu language Lamnso’.

Speaker: Isaac Gould
Title: Who Isn’t There? A preliminary description of the absentive in Lamnso’
Time: Tuesday, November 16, 1-2PM
Location: 32-D461

In this descriptive talk, I sketch out some of the basic uses of the absentive morpheme ‘siiy’ in Lamnso’ (Grassfields, Cameroon). Its primary use is to indicate someone’s spatial absence in requests or when reporting information, but it might also have a temporal use as well. I will also give a brief overview of absentive constructions in some other languages. The way that absence is expressed in Lamnso’ appears to be typologically uncommon, but it does seem to have parallels in other languages.