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Variation in double object marking in Swahili

Gibson, Hannah and Mapunda, Gastor and Marten, Lutz and Shah, Sheena and Taji, Julius (2020) 'Variation in double object marking in Swahili.' Swahili-Forum, 26. pp. 142-165. ISSN 1614-2373

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Abstract

There is a high degree of morphosyntactic microvariation with respect to the number and position of object markers found across Bantu languages. This paper examines variation in object marking in Swahili, against the backdrop of variation in object marking in Bantu more broadly. Verb forms in Standard Swahili are well-known to typically only permit one pre-stem object marker. However, here we show that there are isolated cases of post-verbal marking of objects from both a synchronic and diachronic perspective. The paper focuses on two case studies. Firstly, ‘Old Swahili’ – that is, the language of classical Swahili poetry – where examples of typologically unusual emphatic object marker doubling are found. Secondly, we show that post-verbal object marking is in fact also found in Standard (Modern) Swahili, namely in second person plural marking, in post-verbal locative markers and with non-verbal predication. However, we also show that the relationship between these forms, the Old Swahili paradigm of object marker doubling, and post-verbal object marking in Bantu more widely – in particular post-verbal plural addressee marking – is complex.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special Issue: Variation in Swahili edited by Daisuke Shinagawa and Nico Nassenstein
Uncontrolled Keywords: Morphosyntactic microvariation, Swahili, Bantu languages, object marker doubling, plural addressee marking
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 13:07
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:03
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25192

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