A note on bare-passives in (selected) Bantu and Western Nilotic Languages

  • In the present paper, we concentrate on (selected) Bantu and Nilotic bare-passive strategies and lay out the basis for a typology of transitive passive constructions in these languages. We argue that bare-passives constitute an optimal strategy to change prominence relations between arguments, in languages that strongly hold to the default mapping between the highest thematic role available and the grammatical subject (i.e. Spec,TP). The Nilotic and Bantu languages discussed here differ in their way of satisfying this default mapping. In particular, impersonal bare-passives satisfy it by resorting to an agentive place-holder (an indefinite subject marker) and realizing the logical agent as a lower thematic/semantic role (e.g. instrument or locative). Left-dislocation and so called 'subjectobject' reversal bare-passives realize the default matching between agent and subject in a more straightforward way, but locate the patient in a higher argument position within the inflectional domain (Spec,TopP). As argued in Hamlaoui and Makasso (2013) and Hamlaoui (2013), and in line with Noonan (1977), the present languages display a clauseinternal split between subjecthood (being the grammatical subject in Spec,TP) and topicality (being the subject of the predication, in an inflectional-domain internal Spec,TopP).

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Author:Fatima Hamlaoui
Parent Title (English):Proceedings of the Workshop BantuSynPhonIS : Preverbal Domain(s), Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin; ZASPil Vol. 57, S. 160-162
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2014
Year of first Publication:2014
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/12/31
GND Keyword:Nilotische Sprachen; Bantusprachen; Syntax; Passiv
Page Number:23
First Page:160
Last Page:182
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 49 Andere Sprachen / 490 Andere Sprachen
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 57 = Proceedings of the Workshop BantuSynPhonIS : Preverbal Domain(s)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht