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Similative and equative demonstratives in Kambaata

Abstract : Based on data from recordings, written sources and elicitation, the present paper investigates in detail the morphology, morphosyntax and use of six similative and equative demonstratives in Kambaaata, a Cushitic language of Ethiopia. The first manner demonstrative, hitt-íta ‘like this’, is a simplex pronoun; the stem of the second demonstrative, hittig-úta ‘like this’, is synchronically not segmentable but can be assumed to result historically from a compositional form containing an element *g ‘manner’. The two manner demonstratives are predominantly used in adverbial function and have a reduced pronominal case system. Both can be used interchangeably in exophoric and endophoric function; they have, however, developed distinct non-deictic uses. The quality demonstrative adjectives hittigoon-á(ta) ‘such, of this kind’ and hittigaam-ú/-íta ‘id.’ are derived in a morphologically transparent way from the second manner demonstrative. Finally, Kambaata has two synonymous equative demonstrative adjectives, kank-á(ta) and hibank-á(ta) ‘this many/much, to this extent’. As adjectival modifiers of nouns and as adverbial modifiers of non-gradable verbs they identify a quantity; as adverbial modifiers of adjectives, property verbs and ideophones they identify a degree. The degree/quantity demonstratives are commonly used non-deictically as intensifiers (‘very’).
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Yvonne Treis. Similative and equative demonstratives in Kambaata. Faits de langues, Brill, 2019, Special issue "Comparaisons d'égalité et de similitude et expression de la simulation", 51 (1), pp.175-202. ⟨hal-01872154v2⟩

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