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Marten, Lutz (2014) 'The preverbal position(s) in Bantu inversion constructions: Theoretical and comparative considerations.' ZAS Papers in Linguistics, 57. pp. 136-159.

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Inversion constructions in Bantu have been discussed from a variety of perspectives over the last decades. Well-known construction types include Locative Inversion and Subject-Object-Reversal, while more recently Semantic Locative Inversion and Instrument Inversion have been presented in the literature as related construction types. Theoretical studies of Bantu inversion constructions have focused on different aspects of the construction, among them the (apparent) change in grammatical function, information structure properties and the formal characteristics of pre- and postverbal NPs. With respect to the status of preverbal NPs in inversion constructions, different analyses have probed the status of the NP as subject or topic, or, more recently as the subject/topic of a Predication relation. The present talk summarises and compares the different analyses which have been proposed for the preverbal domain in inversion constructions and brings out empirical and conceptual advantages and disadvantages. In addition, different analysis are related to recent cross-Bantu comparative investigations of Bantu inversion constructions, so as to probe how attested variation across Bantu can be understood in the light of different formal analysis. The paper aims to consolidate and evaluate the current state-of-the-art in the preverbal domain on inversion constructions and to indicate directions for further research.

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: 14359588
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 14 May 2015 15:42

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