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 article discusses morphological case variation, arguing that individual cases are not syntactic objects or features but PF interpretations of a range of different underlying syntactic relations. Nevertheless, it turns out that case variation can, to a large extent, be analyzed in terms of only two atomic ‘ingredients’: event licensing of NPs and PF marking of the licensing relation (where marking is analyzed in terms of Chomskyan case stars). Ergative is a Voice/*-case, whereas accusative is a v*-case, licensed under c-command by Voice/ (ergative and accusative marking thus being two sides of the same coin). Individual cases in case-expanding morphological/PF case systems, it is argued, behave like viruses, striving to expand beyond their original ‘reasonable’ domain.