The relative clause formation in Zulu

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Style Guide Zulu zu Introduction This style guide is intended for translators working on Mozilla projects. Nonetheless, explicit arguments that these extended projections are truly mixed instead of involving covert structure, for instance are scarce see, e. This article contributes exactly such evidence. On the basis of data from Northern Ndebele, a Bantu language of Zimbabwe S44 in the Guthrie classification , I argue that direct DP shells must be allowed by the grammar.

A range of facts point to the conclusion that embedded clauses in Ndebele are obligatorily contained in a DP shell without a mediating nominal head. The argument for the existence of direct DP shells is based on refuting two possible reanalyses of 1. One is the structure in 2 , in which a null N intervenes between C and D. If clausal DP shells are universally the result of such insertion, it becomes dubious whether their existence poses any problem for extended projections.

Indeed, the very fact that they cannot be freely base generated can be interpreted as supporting Grimshaw's theory. Rather, they appear obligatorily in all contexts, suggesting that they are base generated, not inserted as a last resort. This article consists of two parts. The first part argues for the existence of direct DP shells by refuting the two reanalyses discussed above. The argument is empirical and rather simple: CP complements to nouns are otherwise absent in the language. Instead, they are introduced by a functional head, a linker. The robustness of obligatory DP shells in Ndebele embedded CPs is corroborated by the syntax and morphophonology of relative clauses.

The second part of the article is a detailed investigation of these constructions, showing that their behavior too is characteristic of DPs.

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The derivation is demonstrated in section 5 , where I also discuss its advantages over an existing alternative analysis Khumalo The sentence in 4 is an illustration of a clausal DP shell in Ndebele. This article follows the Leipzig glossing rules. Other abbreviations used: 1 etc. In some languages, this contrast is reflected morphologically.


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In Polish, for instance, sentential subjects must be introduced by a demonstrative, as in 5a , while clausal complements are impossible with a demonstrative, as shown by 5b. Taking the overt demonstrative as an indication of a nominal shell, we observe that the clausal subject requires a DP shell, while the complement clause in 5b disallows it—it must be a bare CP. Assuming that clausal arguments can be base generated with a DP shell, it is unclear what precludes the clausal DP shell in the object position. In this view, a clausal argument is base generated as a bare CP.

A DP layer is inserted if and only if it secures convergent derivation; for instance, when a clause moves to a subject position, a DP layer is inserted to satisfy the requirement that Spec,TP be filled by a DP. I discuss each property in turn, with an emphasis on the obligatory nature of the nominal layer. Clausal complements control object agreement on the matrix verb. The complementizer consists of the complementizer root and a determiner. Clausal complements can bear oblique case morphology. Clauses can be objects of prepositions. Clausal subjects are allowed and have the same form as clausal objects.

I. Introduction

Complement clauses behave like nominal objects in that they control object agreement. Zodwa 1.

Object marking in Ndebele requires dislocation of the object—a common correlation in Bantu languages Baker a , Carstens As shown in 7b , object marking of a clausal complement requires the disjoint form as well. Thus, object marking of clausal complements obeys the same dislocation requirement observed with nominal objects. Other types of complementizers exist e. Indicative clauses only allow ukuthi. It remains to be seen if the nominal properties we observe with ukuthi clauses are found with the other complementizers.

The class prefix and an agreeing augment are typical nominal morphology in Bantu languages Katamba The view that the augment is a property of the nominal category is uncontroversial. I will follow this standard treatment and assume that the augment is an exponent of D that covaries with the noun class of the nominal root. The discussion to follow is entirely independent of this choice. What matters is that the augment realizes some head in the nominal extended projection, be it K or D. For clearer exposition, I will therefore assume that the augment is an exponent of D.

There is, nevertheless, syntactic evidence that the complementizer ukuthi is not monomorphemic. As with nominal objects, the augment is an exponent of D, which agrees with the class of its complement. In the case of nominal objects, the class features are inherent in the NP complement of D. When the complement of D is a CP, as in 10 , the augment agrees with the features of the complementizer root kuthi , namely class I discuss evidence for the structure in 10 below. The augment on Ndebele nouns can sometimes be omitted.

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The distribution of such augmentless nominals is determined by syntactic and semantic factors. For details about licensing augmentless nominals in Zulu, a language with almost identical distribution of the augment, see for example Halpert , The augment can be dropped in a negative sentence 11a , but not in an affirmative one 11b. Dislocation of an object is detected by the presence of an object marker. As we see in 11c , a dislocated object cannot be augmentless, even in a negative sentence cf.

No negation 1 sg. The augment in negative sentences like 11a is optional, and its presence or absence corresponds with a semantic difference. A DP with an augment is interpreted with wide scope with respect to negation i. This semantic contrast is compatible with the hypothesis that the augment is a type of determiner. A possible implementation of augment drop is a postulation of two types of D in Ndebele: the augment and a null morpheme.

Their distribution roughly corresponds to what we expect from the definite—indefinite dichotomy. The initial vowel of the complementizer ukuthi can be dropped as well. More importantly, an augmentless complementizer appears exactly in the configurations that license augmentless nominals. If the matrix verb is negated, the complementizer can be augmentless, as in 12a. When the matrix clause is affirmative, however, the complementizer must have an augment, as shown in 12b , just like any other object cf.

Finally, the augment cannot be dropped if the clausal complement is dislocated, even if the matrix verb is negated, as in 12c. Sipho 1. Unlike with nominal objects, there is no clear semantic effect of augment drop in clausal complements. One common judgment is that the augmentless variant of 12a is emphatic and can be translated with the modifier at all.

Regardless, the morphosyntactic parallel between 11 and 12 is striking, and it shows that the complementizer ukuthi is not monomorphemic. Rather, it has an active augment, whose distribution is regulated by the same licensing conditions that govern the distribution of nominal objects. It is important to note at this point that the distribution of the augment in clausal objects in Ndebele is very different in nature from the distribution of demonstratives with clausal arguments in Polish see 5 above.

In the latter case, the presence of a demonstrative realizing a DP shell correlates with a structural position e. On the contrary, it shows that a clausal DP layer has the exact same distribution as a nominal DP layer.