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LINGUIST List 21.222

Thu Jan 14 2010

Diss: Syntax: Riedel: 'The Syntax of Object Marking in Sambaa: A...'

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        1.    Kristina Riedel, The Syntax of Object Marking in Sambaa: A comparative Bantu perspective

Message 1: The Syntax of Object Marking in Sambaa: A comparative Bantu perspective
Date: 11-Jan-2010
From: Kristina Riedel <riedelzas.gwz-berlin.de>
Subject: The Syntax of Object Marking in Sambaa: A comparative Bantu perspective
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Institution: Leiden University
Program: PhD Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009

Author: Kristina Riedel

Dissertation Title: The Syntax of Object Marking in Sambaa: A comparative Bantu perspective

Dissertation URL: https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/dspace/handle/1887/14502?mode=more

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Language Family(ies): Narrow Bantu

Dissertation Director:
Thilo C. Schadeberg
Leston C. Buell
Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis investigates the syntax of object marking in Sambaa and the
Bantu languages in general, with particular focus on Swahili and Haya, as
points of comparison. Object marking is approached from the perspective of
Minimalist syntax. The central claim is that object marking in Sambaa and
related languages can be analysed as Agree (in the sense of Chomsky 2000,
2001), with certain modifications. These modifications have implications
for the Agree mechanism in general. Object marking is discussed in the
context of a range of syntactic environments: simple affirmative clauses,
wh-questions, relative clauses and coordination structures. Based on this
broad set of data, it is shown that Bantu languages cannot, as has been
proposed, be divided into two types, namely those with object agreement and
those with pronominal object marking (Bresnan and Mchombo 1987; Byarushengo
et al. 1976, 1977 and Baker 2007). Rather, the Agree analysis can account
for the object markings patterns in all languages examined. It is further
shown that Bonet's (1991, 1994) Person Case Constraint (PCC) holds for
Bantu. The data discussed strongly support Bonet's distinction between a
'weak' and a 'strong' PCC, as the languages discussed obey the weak but not
the strong version of the PCC. Moreover, the PCC is shown to apply not only
to object marking but to all ditransitive constructions in Bantu. This
thesis is of relevance to syntacticians interested in agreement, object
marking and the interaction of verbs and objects more generally, and to
linguists interested in Bantu syntax, and in particular Sambaa, Swahili and

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