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The Subjunctive Mood In Kikisi, Kindendeule and Chingoni

Deo Ngonyani


In the Bantu languages of Kikisi, Kindendeule and Chingoni, the subjunctive is a grammatical category that stands in contrast with the indicative mood. Morphologically, the subjunctive is characterized by the verbal suffix -e (or some other variants), absence of tense marking and the obligatory presence of the subject and/or object marker. Two types of subjunctive are illustrated (Quer, 2005; Stowell, 1993): (i) Intentional subjunctives that are triggered by matrix predicates and (ii) polarity subjunctives that are licensed by some operator. The subjunctive is associated with irrealis-inducing environments such as irrealis-inducing adverbs and complements of manipulative verbs (Givón, 1994). This paper argues that the subjunctive ambiguously exhibits Inflection or Tense features as well as COMP features. With respect to Inflection features, the subjunctive is in complementary distribution with tense marking. However, it displays COMP features in its selectional relations with the superordinate volitional and directive predicates. This ambiguity is accounted for if we adopt Rizzi’s (1997) proposal of an articulated CP. The Inflection features are FinP features and the COMP features ForceP features, which are all on the left periphery.

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