South African Journal of African Languages

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Open Access  DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Subscription or Fee Access

Some syntactic and semantic aspects of the chiShona subject relation

Isaac Mhute, Maxwell Kadenge, DE Mutasa


The main aim of this article is to present some syntactic and semantic characteristics of the chiShona subject relation, with specific reference to its behaviour in the passive, reflexive and wh-question transformational rules. It evaluates the state and nature of the relation’s freedom in the language. In each example, the predicate’s argument structure is presented together with the features of the arguments involved to ensure conformity to the demands of the projection principle. The projection principle, the noun phrase transformational rule, as well as the subject selectional principles make up the theoretical framework used in this article. It emerged from our findings that the chiShona subject has considerable freedom in a sentence. For example, in the passivisation rule, the raised subject can control agreement in the sentence even if it occurs sentence-finally. We also established that different sub-categories of the subject relation are treated differently by different transformational rules. As there are few descriptive and theoretical studies on chiShona syntax, this research recommends more studies on this subject.

South African Journal of African Languages 2013, 33(1): 95–103
AJOL African Journals Online