Middle voice in Bantu: In- and detransitivizing morphology in Kagulu

Sebastian Dom, Leora Bar-El, Ponsiano Sawaka Kanijo, Malin Petzell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper explores the middle voice in Kagulu, a Bantu language of Tanzania. Although not traditionally recognized in Bantu languages, recent research has asserted that middle voice is attested in some Bantu languages. We propose that of eight affixes that might be considered middle markers, Kagulu has two affixes that are part of the middle voice system, each one coding two different detransitivizing voices. We argue that, from a diachronic viewpoint, the underdeveloped voice syncretism of Kagulu's middle markers is the result of competing morphology and minimal functional innovations towards voice syncretism in the derivational system of Kagulu.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-216
Number of pages22
JournalSTUF - Language Typology and Universals
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • Bantu
  • Kagulu
  • middle voice systems
  • verbal derivation


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