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Title: Descriptive Nominal Modifiers in Setswana
Authors: Theledi, Kgomotso Mothokhumo Ambitious
Keywords: Niger-Congo Languages
Bantoid Languages
Tswana - Grammar
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: University of Stellebosch
Abstract: The study focused on three descriptive nominal modifiers which specify the attributes of nouns, i.e. the morphological adjective, the relative clause and the descriptive possessive. The morphological adjective appears in an adjectival phrase, which has to consist of a determiner and an adjective. The adjective must have agreement with the head noun in an NP. The adjective root may appear with nominal suffixes such as -ana and -gadi, it can be reduplicated, it may be transposed to other categories and it may even be compounded. The AP may also occur in predicative position as well as in comparative clauses. The relative clause may have the same semantic properties as the adjective. The relative clause in Setswana consists of a determiner in the position of the complementizer followed by an lP. Such an lP may have a copulative or non-copulative verb. Attention in this study has focused on the nominal relative, which appears as a complement of a copulative verb. These nominal relative stems have been divided into two sections, i.e. a section in which the nominal relative stems may not appear in a descriptive possessive construction and a second section where these stems may also appear as a complement of the possessive [a]. The semantic features of these nominal relative stems have been isolated and it is clear that they show a wide variety of semantic features. This type of relative clause represents the most prolific category, which specifies the attributes of nouns. The third category, which displays the semantic feature of an attribute of a noun, is the descriptive possessive construction. The syntactic and semantic structure of this type of phrase has been investigated. A wide variety of complements of the possessive [a] have been isolated in Setswana and some semantic features have received specific attention, i.e. group nouns and partitives.
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