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The causal-noncausal alternation in African languages 2 
Sebastian Dom (University of Gothenburg)
Leora Bar-el (University of Montana)
Ponsiano Sawaka Kanijo (Mkwawa University College of Education)
Malin Petzell (University of Gothenburg)
Wednesday 9 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Amsterdam

Short Abstract:

This workshop brings together a collection of papers on the causal-noncausal alternation from a diverse range of African languages. ‘Causal’ and ‘noncausal’ are semantic notions that refer to related events differentiated by the number and type of participant roles: the causal event, e.g. lose, involves an external and internal participant role while the corresponding noncausal event, e.g. get lost, only includes an internal participant role. The valency alternation lies at the interface between semantics, morphology and syntax, and has been the focus of different theoretical approaches. Typological-comparative studies have identified various types of formal relationships between causal and noncausal verbs in the languages of the world. Nevertheless, the causal-noncausal alternation has received little systematic and comparative attention in languages from across the African continent. This workshop addresses this gap, with contributions from Cushitic, Ethiosemitic, Atlantic, Kru, and Narrow Bantu languages.