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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 of Object Marking in Sambaa: A comparative Bantu perspective Add Dissertation
Author: Kristina Riedel Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.zas.gwz-berlin.de/mitarbeiter_riedel.html
Institution: Universiteit Leiden, PhD in Linguistics
Completed in: 2009
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Language Family(ies): Narrow Bantu
Director(s): Lisa Cheng
Thilo Schadeberg
Leston Buell

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
Haya.