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Matsinhe, S. F. (1997) Pronominal clitics in Tsonga and Mozambican Portuguese : A comparative study. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis contrasts the system of pronominal clitics (also known as subject and object markers) in Tsonga, a Bantu language spoken in Mozambique, with that of European Portuguese; and seeks to establish how the co-existence of the two languages in the bilingual section of the community is reflected in the variety of Portuguese spoken by Tsonga native speakers, referred to here as "Popular Mozambican Portuguese (PMP)". The theoretical framework within which the languages are analyzed is Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG), which has been used extensively in the past for describing subject and object markers in Bantu languages. In addition, it has a mechanism for differentiating between grammatical and anaphoric agreement, which is a central issue in the syntax of Tsonga and European Portuguese pronominal clitics. Chapter 1 outlines the aims of the thesis, and the structure and administration of the questionnaire used to investigate the usage of pronominal clitics in PMP. It also discusses the position of Tsonga and European Portuguese in the Mozambican constellation of languages; and presents the main aspects of LFG relevant to the thesis. Chapter 2 discusses the Tsonga class and number system and the European Portuguese systems of number, gender and case, features of which are signalled by the pronominal clitics. Chapter 3 looks at the argument structure and syntax of verbs in both languages, focusing on the types of objects selected by different verbs, and on the ways such objects are marked in these languages. Furthermore, this chapter also considers Tsonga verbs which are derived by means of the applicative and causative affixes. Chapter 4 is the core of the thesis. For, while dealing with the subject and object pronominal clitics in Tsonga and European Portuguese, concentrating on the main distributional and functional differences between them, it seeks to determine the conditions under which the pronominal clitics mark anaphoric agreement and grammatical agreement in the two languages. It also provides an account of independent pronouns in Tsonga and European Portuguese, paying particularattention to their discourse functions. Chapter 5 discusses the Tsonga reflexive marker, comparing it with its counterpart in European Portuguese and considering its distribution and the effects on the verbs that host it. It also argues that while the situation of the reflexive markers in other Bantu languages remains unclear in the literature, the Tsonga reflexive marker is nothing more than a derivational suffix and, therefore, should be treated in conjunction with the applicative, causative, passive and reciprocal affixes. Chapter 6 discusses the pattern of grammatical variation found in the forms and function of the pronominal clitics in PMP, concluding with a general consideration as regards the future of the Portuguese language in Mozambique. Chapter 7 contains concluding remarks which highlight the the results of the thesis.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:58

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