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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Syntax and Typology of Bantu Relative Clauses Add Dissertation
Author: Brent Henderson Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2006
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Language Family(ies): Central Bantu
Director(s): James Yoon
Eyamba Bokamba
Karlos Arregi
Cedric Boeckx
Abbas Benmamoun

Abstract: The goal of this thesis is to examine and explain commonalities and
differences found across complementizer-type relative clauses in the Bantu
languages, focusing on strong correlations between agreement and other
points of variation. The facts I discuss concern co-variations between
agreement in the C-T domain and subject-verb inversion, object agreement
and resumption, and complementizer agreement and resumption in object
relative clauses. I observe the following two sets of generalizations:

1.Agreement in the C-T domain
(i)Relatives that display agreement between the subject and verb as well as
the relativized NP and complementizer sometimes display inversion
(ii)Relatives that display agreement only between the subject and verb
never display inversion.
(iii)Relatives that display agreement only between the verb and relativized
NP always display inversion.

2.Agreement in the vP domain
(i)Languages without object agreement do not display resumption in simple
object relatives.
(ii)Languages with object agreement do not display resumption in simple
object relatives if they have an agreeing complementizer.

Based on these correlations, I argue for an understanding of agreement
within the probe-goal system in which syntactic structure is built
derivationally, only unvalued features are probes, probes are unrestricted
with regard to the direction of probing, and the locality of syntactic
relations is a representational notion relevant only at the end of the
derivation. Within this system, I argue that the correlations in (1) are
derived by two simple morphological parameters that define the location of
features in the functional heads of clause structure. In particular, I
argue that complementizers may reside in Force or in Fin while inflectional
features may reside in Fin or in T. With regard to the correlations in (2),
I argue that correlations between agreement and resumption result from
differing derivational strategies languages employ to avoid violating
general conditions on chain formation. Languages discussed include Swahili,
Kirundi, Dzamba, Lingala, Zulu, Swati, Chichewa, Shona, Sesotho, and others.