Subject marking and preverbal coordination in Sesotho: A perspective from Optimality Theory1

  • Mark de Vos
  • Hazel Mitchley

Abstract

Agreement usually operates in a one-to-one fashion where an agreement target is matched to a source of agreement. However, when there is more than one source (for example, in preverbal coordination constructions) agreement mismatches occur. These may be resolved either through partial agreement with only a single source, or by various resolution strategies. Bantu languages with their rich noun-class system are an ideal domain to explore resolution strategies. This paper examines the phenomenon of subject-verb agreement with preverbal coordinated DPs in Sesotho (S33) and outlines an Optimality Theoretic analysis of the various strategies that speakers use to negotiate subject verb agreement.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2012, 30(2): 155–170

Author Biographies

Mark de Vos
Department of English Language and Linguistics, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Hazel Mitchley
Department of English Language and Linguistics, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614