The -wa ablative clitic of Iraqw
Anne Kruijt
(Leiden University)
Saturday (April 22nd), 15:45-16:10
Lipsius 148

Want to say that you just came home from the pub? That you will definitely start working on your thesis from tomorrow on? That you promise to stay in the library for the whole day? Or that all you really want is another beer? The clitic -wa of Iraqw will help you do all these things and more!

My research focuses on describing and analysing the different uses of the –wa clitic of Iraqw (South Cushitic), a language of Tanzania. It is currently labelled as an ablative clitic, yet it is also used in many other constructions which do not have an ablative meaning. For example, the clitic also occurs in temporal constructions, ‘reason’ phrases, and certain adverbial constructions. This research explores in which constructions the clitic is used, in which constructions it cannot be used, and what ties these non-ablative domains have to the ablative field. This will help critically examine which conceptualization paths are available to the ablative case of Iraqw and how this compares to the attested uses of the ablative case in other languages. 

So far, it is clear that the -wa clitic is frequently used, versatile in meaning and that it has extensions in many semantic fields. A preliminary conclusion is that most or all of the different uses of the clitic can be tied, either directly or indirectly, to the ablative semantic field and it will therefore be argued that this is the core meaning of the clitic.