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A Critique of the Dokean approach towards the lexical classes ‘adjective', ‘relative' and ‘enumerative' in Zulu

Rachélle Gauton


In Doke's word class classification, so-called ‘adjective', ‘relative' and ‘enumerative' stems can belong to any of three different word classes, depending on the way in which they are used. Doke regards only qualificatively used adjective, relative and enumerative stems as belonging to the word classes ‘adjective', ‘relative' and ‘enumerative' respectively. When these word stems are used in so-called ‘copulative'/‘attributive' constructions, they are relegated to the word class ‘copulative' and are therefore no longer regarded as adjectives, relatives and enumeratives, but as copulatives. When ‘adjectives', ‘relatives' and ‘enumeratives' precede their noun antecedents, or when they are used without their antecedents, Doke regards them as ‘qualificative pronouns'. What is clear, however, is that all of these categories contain a number of word stemsthat are found as the complements of (frequently underlying) copulatives, and which can either be used in embedded (relative) constructions, or in ‘copulative'/‘predicative' constructions as the predicate of the sentence/clause. It is also concluded that the basic function of these forms remains that of noun modification, even though they can at times function pronominally.

(Journal for Language Teaching: 2002 36(3-4): 347-364)