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Papers from the Workshop on Bantu Relative Clauses

Abstract : All of the papers in the volume except one (Kaji) take up some aspect of relative clause construction in some Bantu language. Kaji's paper aims to account for how Tooro (J12; western Uganda) lost phonological tone through a comparative study of the tone systems of other western Uganda Bantu languages. The other papers examine a range of ways of forming relative clauses, often including non-restrictive relatives and clefts, in a wide range of languages representing a variety of prosodic systems. In Bantu languages, relative constructions can be formed using several different morpho-syntactic strategies. For instance, they can involve a relative conjugation, as in Chewa, Shingazidja, Símákonde; a relativizer, as in Chewa, Luganda, Shingazidja, Tswana; a relative subject marker as in Zulu; a connective marker, as in Chimwiini, Mbochi or a demonstrative marker as in Bàsàa, among others. A variety of means to indicate prosodic phrases is also illustrated in this volume: penultimate lengthening as in Chewa, Símákonde, Zulu, "abstract" penultimate stress (manifested by an absence of vowel length reduction) as in Chimwiini or tone rules (spreading rules in Luganda and Shingazidja, probably H tone retraction in Tswana, a tonal association rule in Bàsàa). The papers illustrate interesting cross-Bantu patterns of similarity and variation in the prosody-syntax interface of relative clauses, with restrictive relatives showing the most variation. For example, we find no prosodic break between the head and the relative in Chewa (Downing & Mtenje), Zulu (Cheng & Downing), Bàsàa (Makasso), Shingazidja (Patin) and Luganda (Hyman & Katamba). We find an optional prosodic break in Chimwiini (Kisseberth) and Mbochi (Beltzung et al.), and an obligatory prosodic break in Símákonde (Manus) and, apparently, in Tswana (Zerbian). Other kinds of prosodic variation were found in specific languages and in specific restrictive relative constructions. For example, there is a prosodic break after the head of a locative relative in Zulu (Cheng & Downing), but not after the head of other types of restrictive relatives. There is a prosodic break after the subject of an object relative in Chimwiini (Kisseberth) that is not found in the other languages. There is a prosodic break after a head in object position in Shingazidja (Patin). In contrast, the prosodic patterns for non-restrictive relatives and clefts are identical in the languages discussed. For non-restrictive relatives, one finds an obligatory prosodic break between the head and the relative (vs. the pattern in restrictive relative clauses, where no break is found in these languages) in Chewa (Downing & Mtenje), Zulu (Cheng & Downing) and Shingazidja (Patin). Similarly, in cleft relatives, an obligatory prosodic break occurs between the head and the relative in Chewa (Downing & Mtenje), Zulu (Cheng & Downing), Luganda (Hyman & Katamba), Chimwiini (Kisseberth) and Shingazidja (Patin).
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00629251
Contributor : Jean-Marc Beltzung <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 2:31:27 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 12:24:56 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-00629251, version 1

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Laura Downing, Annie Rialland, Jean-Marc Beltzung, Sophie Manus, Cédric Patin, et al.. Papers from the Workshop on Bantu Relative Clauses. Laura Downing, Annie Rialland, Jean-Marc Beltzung, Sophie Manus, Cédric Patin, Kristina Riedel. Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, pp.261, 2010, ZAS Papers in Linguistics. ⟨halshs-00629251⟩

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