Information structure constraints on object marking in Manyika

  • Anna Bax
  • Michael Diercks

Abstract

Object markers in Bantu languages have commonly been analysed as either agreement morphemes or incorporated pronouns. This paper documents a number of empirical facts concerning object marking in Manyika (chiShona), showing that the distribution of object marking does not fit the predictions of either the agreement or pronominalisation accounts. Specifically, we show that doubling of the object marker and the noun phrase object is in principle possible, but is constrained in a number of instances by the information structure status of the object. This paper therefore makes two distinct claims: first, Manyika object markers (and perhaps other object markers in Bantu languages) ought to be analysed under the rubric of clitics, rather than as agreement morphemes or incorporated pronouns. Second, we claim that the constraints on cliticdoubling are not dependably syntactic in nature; instead, co-occurrence of an object marker and an object is licensed (or not) based on whether the object is in a non-focus domain.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2012, 30(2): 185–202

Author Biographies

Anna Bax
Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Pomona College, 185 E 6th Street, Claremont, CA, 91711, USA
Michael Diercks
Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Pomona College, 185 E 6th Street, Claremont, CA, 91711, USA
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614