BantuSynPhonIS: Preverbal Domains

Veranstaltungsbeginn 14.11.2014, 09.00 Uhr
Veranstaltungsende 15.11.2014, 17.00 Uhr
Ort ZAS

Bantu languages have been at the heart of the research on the interaction between syntax, prosody and information structure. In this workshop, we hope to deepen our understanding of the interaction of different grammatical components both in individual languages and across the Bantu family by bringing together current research on various phenomena relating to the preverbal domains. 

In SVO languages, considerable attention has been devoted to postverbal phenomena. For this workshop, we will discuss issues related to the syntax, prosody, semantics and pragmatics of the “preverbal domains” in Bantu languages, i.e. issues of Object-Verb order/Immediately Before the Verb position, subject(s) and left-periphery of the clause:

  • A number of languages have been shown to display apparently clause-internal preverbal objects (a.o. in SOV, OVS and OSV in Aghem, Tunen, Mbuun, Basaa and/or Kinyarwanda/Kirundi). What are the semantic/discourse properties associated to these structures? How are they derived? What are their prosodic properties? What other properties of the languages that display OV/IBV distinguish them from the Bantu languages that do not allow it?

  • Bantu languages vary as to what is preferred to be a grammatical subject. Whereas a strong dispreference against non-subject proto-agents leaves only little space to information structural considerations in the choice of a grammatical subject in Basaa, languages like Sotho/Tswana show a strong connection between the notion of Topic and the function of grammatical subject. How is this difference connected to other properties of these languages? What is the pragmatics/semantics/prosody of locative inversion or so-called subject/object reversal structures?

  • Postverbal focusing strategies (e.g. Immediately After the Verb position, inversion, a subset of cleft-sentences) have received considerable attention in the recent literature. Clause-initial focusing seems to be a common focusing strategy too (a.o. Tunen, Basaa, Eton, Kîîtharaka, Kinande). What is the syntactic structure of clause-initial focus sentences? Is clause-initial focusing necessarily associated to contrast/exhaustivity? What other properties of the languages that display clause-initial focusing distinguish them from the Bantu languages that do not allow it? Is clause-initial focusing coupled with a specific prosodic marking?

  • Left-dislocation has recently been discussed in connection to phonology-syntax mapping in a subset of Bantu languages. Languages seem to differ in their ability/requirement to phrase left-dislocated items together with the associate clause. Is there a correlation between the prosody and the discourse status of left-dislocated items? More generally, what are the discourse properties of left-dislocation? ln Mbuun and Bàsàa for instance, object left-dislocation is associated to a broad focus reading, and has a functional-passive value comparable to Kinyarwanda OVS. Is this pattern found in other Bantu languages? What is the connection between dislocation and topicalization? Can different types of topics be distinguished, like in Romance and Germanic languages? From a morpho-syntactic perspective, what is the connection between the left-dislocated item and the object marker/pronoun within the associate clause? What is the target position of left-dislocated items? What is the evidence for internal/external topic positions?

  • How do root-clauses compare to embedded clauses or how do declarative sentences compare to other sentence-types in relation to these phenomena?

Program (Preliminary)

Friday, November 14

10:00-10:15
Introduction

10:15-11:15
Lisa L.-S. Cheng (Universiteit Leiden) & Laura J. Downing (Göteborgs Universitet)  
Indefinite Subjects in Durban Zulu

11:15-12:15
Georges Martial Embanga Aborobongui (LPP/UMR7018, Sorbonne Nouvelle), Fatima Hamlaoui (ZAS) & Annie Rialland  (LPP/UMR7018, Sorbonne Nouvelle) 
Syntactic and Phonological Aspects of Left and Right Dislocation in Embosi (Bantu C25, Congo-Brazzaville)

12:15-13:45
Lunch

13:45-14:45
Rozenn Guérois (DDL, Université Lumière Lyon 2)  
The Preverbal Domain in Cuwabo (Mozambique, P34)

14:45-15:45
Jenneke van der Wal (University of Cambridge) & Saudah Namyalo (Makerere University)  
On Luganda Preverbal Focus and Morphological Marking

15:45-16:00  
Coffee Break

16:00-17:00
Tom Güldemann (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin) & Yukiko Morimoto (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Preverbal Verbs in Bantu

Saturday, November 15

10:00-11:00
Maarten Mous (Leiden Universiteit)  
TAM-Full Object-Verb Order in Mbam languages of Cameroon

11:00-12:00
Jasper de Kind (Ghent Universiteit)
Word Order in Kikongo (H16): On the Origins of a Preverbal Focus Position and the Pragmatic Neutralization of SOV

12:00-13:30
Lunch

13:30-14:30
Fatima Hamlaoui (ZAS)
Bare Passives in Selected Bantu and Western Nilotic Languages

14:30-15:30
Joseph Koni Muluwa (Ghent Universiteit) & Koen Bostoen (Ghent Universiteit)
The Information Structure of Preverbal Domains in Mbuun, Nsong and Nsambaan (Bantu B80, DRC)

15:30-15:45
Coffee Break

15:45-16:45
Lutz Marten (SOAS) 
The Preverbal Position(s) in Bantu Inversion Constructions: Theoretical and Comparative Considerations