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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On the definiteness and specificity of Scandinavian pronoun demonstratives
Pronouns with a demonstrative function appear in most of the Scandinavian languages in phrases like ‘Look at that man’. Despite the Scandinavian languages varying in phrase-internal morphosyntactic definiteness agreement requirements generally, the pronoun demonstrative appears universally with a definite noun (phrase). This is accounted for within a Lexical-Functional Grammar framework, where the pronoun demonstrative is treated as carrying the feature [specific = +], and the definite noun (phrase) is the morphosyntactic realisation of underlying specificity also. In addition, there is variation as to whether the pronoun demonstratives occur as a specifier within the NP, or as the head of its own DP, taking an NP object.