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It is cross-linguistically common to find a distinction between "temporary" vs. "permanent" states in copular verbs, e.g., Spanish estar and ser (see Deo et al., 2017). In Mashi (Bantu, JD53), we find that a similar temporary/permanent distinction holds not only of the two copular be-verbs in the language, -li (temporary state) and -ba (permanent state), but also of the two possessive have-verbs, -dwiire and -jira; -dwiire indicates temporary possession, while -jira instead indicates permanent possession. This parallelism provides a novel argument in favor of a decompositional approach to possessive verbs: HAVE is composed of a verbal head vBE that incorporates a relational element P (or PHAVE) (Kayne, 1993); (Harley, 1998) a.o. The difference in the two have-verbs in Mashi corresponds to which vBE is chosen; -dwiire lexicalizes the decomposed heads of -li and PHAVE, while -jira instead lexicalizes -ba and PHAVE.
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