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Gibson, Hannah, Mapunda, Gastor, Marten, Lutz, Shah, Sheena and Taji, Julius (2019) 'Variation in double object marking in Swahili.' Swahili Forum, 26. pp. 142-165.

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There is a high degree of morphosyntactic microvariation with respect to the number and position of object markers found across Bantu languages. This paper examines variation in object marking in Swahili, against the backdrop of variation in object marking in Bantu more broadly. Verb forms in Standard Swahili are well-known to typically only permit one pre-stem object marker. However, here we show that there are isolated cases of post-verbal marking of objects from both a synchronic and diachronic perspective. The paper focuses on two case studies. Firstly, ‘Old Swahili’ – that is, the language of classical Swahili poetry – where examples of typologically unusual emphatic object marker doubling are found. Secondly, we show that post-verbal object marking is in fact also found in Standard (Modern) Swahili, namely in second person plural marking, in post-verbal locative markers and with non-verbal predication. However, we also show that the relationship between these forms, the Old Swahili paradigm of object marker doubling, and post-verbal object marking in Bantu more widely – in particular post-verbal plural addressee marking – is complex.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > Centre of African Studies
Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 16142373
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2023 12:01
Funders: Leverhulme Trust, British Academy

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