Grammar

Argument licensing and agreement by Claire Halpert

By Claire Halpert

The strikingly unrestricted syntactic distribution of nouns in lots of Bantu languages frequently results in proposals that syntactic case doesn't play an energetic position within the grammar of Bantu. This ebook bargains a distinct end that the root of Zulu that Bantu languages haven't just a procedure of structural case, but additionally a fancy approach of morphological case that's such as platforms present in languages like Icelandic. via evaluating the method of argument licensing present in Zulu to these present in extra universal languages, Halpert introduces a couple of insights onto the association of the grammar.

First, whereas this e-book argues in prefer of a case-licensing research of Zulu, it locates the positions the place case is assigned reduce within the clause than what's present in nominative-accusative languages. furthermore, Zulu indicates proof that case and contract are exact operations within the language, situated on varied heads and working independently of one another. regardless of those unfamiliarities, there's facts that the timing relationships among operations reflect these present in different languages. moment, this ebook proposes a unique kind of morphological case that serves to masks many structural licensing results in Zulu; the results of this situation are strange, Halpert argues that its life is anticipated given the present typological photo of case. eventually, this e-book explores the implications of case and contract as dissociated operations, displaying that given this case, different strange houses of Bantu languages, comparable to hyper-raising, are a ordinary consequence. This exploration yields the belief that a number of the more odd houses of Bantu languages in reality consequence from small quantities of edition to deeply customary syntactic ideas equivalent to case, contract, and the EPP.

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In other words, even when an agreeing subject is preverbal in Zulu, it may appear either in Spec,TP or in a dislocated preverbal position. Bresnan and Mchombo (1987) come to the same conclusion about preverbal subjects in Chichewa, and Schneider-Zioga (2007) makes a similar point about Kinande, for which she argues that only under special circumstances can an agreeing subject actually surface in Spec,TP. To summarize what we have seen in this section, the Zulu verb is marked with an obligatory subject agreement morpheme, which is realized as a default class 17 ku- when the verb does not agree with a subject.

1John only 1s- arrive- pfv b. ’ (Zeller, 2008, ex. (37)) the verb at all. Unlike the subject marker, the object marker does not appear to have a morphological default (Buell, 2005; Adams, 2010; Zeller, 2012). his asymmetry is reminiscent of the classic characterization of the EPP—that clauses uniformly require a subject, though there is no uniform requirement for there to be an object (Chomsky, 1981). I return to the connection between the subject agreement patterns in Zulu and the EPP in chapter 6, where I argue that the EPP is responsible for all subject agreement patterns in Zulu.

1John [ 26 ] (Buell, 2007, ex. (7)) Argument Licensing and Agreement “02_Halpert_c02” — 2015/8/24 — 14:44 — page 27 — #18 b. ’ (Zeller, 2010, ex. 10 I return to the locative and instrument inversion constructions in greater detail in chapter 5, where they will be crucial to our understanding of the relationship between case and agreement in Zulu. Again, in all of these inversion constructions, the subject does not require a identiicational focus interpretation; in fact, as Buell (2005) notes, the most natural interpretation of such sentences is with information focus on the entire predicate.

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