It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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This dissertation is concerned with the syntactic and semantic status of
negative indefinites in Afrikaans. The problem posed by negative
indefinites is that their interpretation appears to differ across double
negation (DN) and negative concord (NC) languages. With respect to negative
displays features that distinguish it from both typical NC and typical DN
languages. Contrary to most NC languages, and similarly to DN languages,
standard Afrikaans does not allow negative indefinites to co-occur with a NC
interpretation. If multiple negative indefinites do co-occur, the utterance is
given a DN interpretation in standard Afrikaans. However, in colloquial
Afrikaans multiple negative indefinites can co-occur with a NC interpretation.
It is this potential ambiguity between NC and DN interpretations of multiple
negative indefinite combinations on the one hand, and the variation in the
expression of multiple indefinites in the scope of negation on the other hand,
that forms the central focus of the dissertation. The analysis of negative
indefinites in Afrikaans proposed in this dissertation is formulated in the
framework of bidirectional Optimality Theory (OT) and is based on both
theoretical observations and empirical data. This dissertation is of
interest to researchers working on negation in general and to those
interested in Afrikaans, and negation in Afrikaans.