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Marten, Lutz (2013) 'Structure and interpretation in Swahili existential constructions.' Italian Journal of Linguistics, 25 (1). pp. 45-73.

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Swahili has two existential constructions, one formed with a possessive copula and a locative subject marker (locative-possessive constructions), the other formed with a locative copula and a non-locative subject marker agree- ing with the theme argument (locative-copula constructions). Both constructions can be used to express existence in a place or more abstract existence. However, the constructions differ with respect to structure and interpretation: the locative-possessive construction has a more rigid word-order and a narrower range of interpretations than the locative-copula construction. On the other hand, the two constructions share the possibility to take ‘clausal’ complements, where a post-copular NP functions at the same time as the subject of a following clause. The paper illustrates the similarities and differences between the constructions and shows how these are related to information structure and to lexical and morphosyntactic constraints imposed by the two copula forms.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 11202726
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2014 10:12

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