Object marking and morphosyntactic variation in Bantu

  • Lutz Marten
  • Nancy C Kula


The paper presents a detailed discussion of morphosyntactic variation in object marking in Bantu. Building on previous work (Marten et al., 2007), the paper investigates variation in object marking in 16 Bantu languages with respect to six parameters: the co-occurrence of object markers and lexical objects, the obligatoriness of object markers with specific classes of objects, the presence of locative object markers, multiple object markers, object marking in double object constructions, and object marking in relative clauses. The study shows that even within these fine-grained parameters, variation between different languages can be further distinguished. The paper provides a systematic overview of the kind of morphosyntactic variation found in Bantu, and provides an empirical framework for further descriptive and comparative studies.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2012, 30(2): 237–253

Author Biographies

Lutz Marten
Departments of the Languages and Cultures of Africa and Linguistics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK
Nancy C Kula
Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614