DP-internal and V-external Agreement Patterns in Bantu: Re-statement of the Facts on Eastern Bantu Languages

Amani Lusekelo


Based on the Minimalist Program, the present paper examines the phifeatures
and their specifications in Bantu DPs and IPs. Data are mainly
drawn from four Eastern Bantu languages: Kiswahili [G42], Kimakonde
[P23], Kisukuma [F21] and Ruhaya [JE22]. It is argued that Bantu
languages differ from Indo-European ones in that the head-noun
generally precedes all dependents, i.e., determiners and modifiers, in
most Bantu languages, and maintain the number feature. Secondly, the
agreement patterns in Bantu languages reveal a slightly different
structure from that found in Indo-European languages in relation in two
issues: (i) DP-internal agreement patterns, in which number is marked
on the head-noun, and to (ii) V-external agreement, which is controlled
by the semantic content of the head-noun as well as its number feature
(embedded in lexical nominal-heads). It is thus appropriate to maintain
NPs in Bantu, instead of shifting to DPs.


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