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Word-level and phrase-level prefixes in Zulu.

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Akadémiai Kiadó.


In Zulu, one of the nine officially recognised Bantu languages of South Africa, the predicate of a relative clause is usually modified with a prefix which expresses both relativisation and agreement with the subject of the relative clause (a so-called relative concord). However, there is a second strategy of relative clause formation in Zulu in which the relative concord seems to be prefixed to the initial noun of the relative clause. In this position, it no longer agrees with the relative clause subject, but with the head noun of the construction. This paper investigates these two different relative clause formation strategies in Zulu. In sections 2 and 3, the properties of the two strategies are outlined and discussed. I assume that the relative concord in the first strategy is a word-level prefix which morphologically combines with the predicative stem of the relative clause. I then argue in section 4 that the relative concord in the second strategy is prefixed to the relative clause as a whole. Following a proposal articulated in Anderson (1992), I analyse this kind of "phrasal affixation" in terms of cliticisation. I assume that the relative marker in these constructions is a clitic which uses the initial noun of the relative clause as its phonological host. In section 5 I suggest that the relativising phrasal affix of the second strategy represents an intermediate stage of a grammaticalisation process that derived the relative concord of the first strategy from an earlier relative clause construction in Zulu which used relative pronouns.



Zulu language--Clitics., Zulu language--Grammar., Zulu language--Relative clauses.


Zeller, J. 2003. Word-level and phrase-level prefixes in Zulu. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 50(1-2) pp. 227-244.