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Title: The Morphology and Syntax of Determiner Phrases in Kiswahili
Authors: Carstens, Vicki May
Keywords: African Languages
Niger-Congo Languages
Atlantic-Congo Languages
Issue Date: 1991
Publisher: UCLA
Abstract: This dissertation is a study of the morphology and syntax of that constituent traditionally referred to as the Noun Phrase. I first analyze Bantu Noun Class as a gender system, and Noun Class prefixes as gender-specific spellings-out of number features. I then argue for the view that the Noun Phrase is embedded within two functional categories, Number Phrase and Determiner Phrase. I propose that noun-raising to the empty Determiner position yields the surface noun-initial order found within Kiswahili DPs, and that genitive pronouns occupy the Specifier position of the Number Phrase. Against this background I undertake a cross-linguistic study of argument position and agreement within DPs. I propose that all arguments of N originate NP-internally, and that in certain languages (including Kiswahili), NP-internal subjects may receive Case in situ. In other languages, including Turkish, Hungarian, and English, subjects of NP must raise to the Specifier position of number for structural Case. I relate these two strategies to the parameter +1- grammatical gender, and to constraints on the distribution of agreement morphology. Finally, I consider the operation of morphological well-formedness conditions in Kiswahili. I argue that they apply cyclically, and that an identification requirement for zero-morphemes is among them.
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