The Structure of the Bantu Noun Phrase
|The Structure of the Bantu Noun Phrase|
|Author(s)||Josephat M. Rugemalira|
|Journal||SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics|
|Country||Tanzania University of Dar es Salaam firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Corpus Link||The Structure of the Bantu Noun Phrase|
By: Samuel Namugala
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- Bantu languages
- Noun phrase
- Interrogative words
This article discusses the syntax of the noun phrase in several Bantu languages by examining the syntax of the noun and its dependent elements through addressing the following questions:
• What elements can modify the Bantu noun and in what order?
• Which elements can co-occur and/or recur in the modification structure and what criteria are relevant in characterizing the dependents of the noun?
• Is there a saturation point in the modification structure?
It points out that it’s possible to stack two determiners; a possessive and a demonstrative (consider example 2.b in the table). It’s also possible to stack two or more adjectives in many languages (see 3.a and 3.b). The author claims that nominal dependents in Bantu are post-head with a frequent exception and that in several languages possessives are fixed immediately after the head noun. Other elements follow the possessives with considerably a free ordering (see 16.b). Conclusively, with the exception of demonstratives, possessives and relative clauses, all other elements in the noun phrase are considerably mobile.
The suggested order of elements is; pre-determiner, noun, determiner, modifier, post-modifier. However, there’s considerable variation in the ordering of items in the modifier position (no such freedom in other positions).
Glossed texts in the article
The following are glossed examples as extracted from the article. The link to their glosses by the annotator is 
|LANGUAGE||TEXT||TEXT IN ENGLISH|
|Swahili|| 2.b)kitabu changu kile
book mine that
|(that book of mine)|
|Swahili|| 3.b)kitabu kipya kizuri
book new nice
|(a nice new book)|
|Swahili|| 4.)vitabu vingi sana
books many very
|(books are very many)|
|Swahili|| 6.) kila mtu
|Swahili|| 13.a)mtu wangu yule
person mine that
|(that person of mine)|
|Sukuma|| 22.b)abhanu bhatano bhose abho abhane
people five all those my
|(all those five people of mine)|
|Safwa|| 20.a)bhala abhantu bhani bhasanu
those people my five
|(those five people of mine)|
|Safwa|| 20.a)abhantu bhani bhasanu bhala
people my five those
|(those five people of mine)|
|Mashami|| 3.a)kitabu kasha kidodori
book red good
|(a good red book)|
|Ha|| 16.b)abhantu bhanje bhaya bhataanu bhasole
people my those five good
|(those five good people of mine)|
Mark Van de Velde (University of Leuven/FWO). The order of noun and demonstrative in Bantu. Available online at http://llacan.vjf.cnrs.fr/pers/vandevelde/files/pdfs/The-order-of-noun-and-demonstrative-in-Bantu.pdf Accessed on 2012-05-22.