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The word order in Swahili adnominal constructions with locative demonstratives

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Eva-Marie Bloom Ström
Publicerad i Nordic Journal of African Studies
Volym 24
Nummer/häfte 2
Sidor 118–145
ISSN 1235-4481
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för språk och litteraturer
Sidor 118–145
Språk en
Länkar www.njas.helsinki.fi/
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/182747
Ämnesord Swahili, demonstrative, locative, word order, information structure, focus
Ämneskategorier Bantuistik, Lingvistik

Sammanfattning

This paper analyses the demonstratives of noun classes 16–18, the locative demonstratives, in Swahili. The main focus of the paper is the word order of these demonstratives in adnominal constructions. Corpus research presented in this study shows that the locative demonstratives precede the locative noun that they determine much more frequently than follow, contrary to what is claimed in the literature. In this paper I will demonstrate that the locative demonstrative following the locative noun is the marked word order and I hypothesize that this is the natural focus position of the locative demonstrative. The demonstrative is consequently defocused in the position preceding the noun. This defocus gives a reduction of the demonstrative function in favour of a more prepositional one. It is suggested that this is an on-going grammaticalization process. The article starts with an overview of the form, meaning, function and grammatical distribution of the locative demonstratives, as the information on these specific demonstratives is often sketchy in descriptions of Swahili.

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