Conditionals in Ndendeule


  • Deo Ngonyani


conditional, Ndendeule, Bantu


Ndendeule, a Bantu language spoken in southern Tanzania, has six conditional constructions identified by conditional markers. Construction I is marked by the subordinating conjunction anda ‘if,’ while Construction II is characterized by the conditional prefix nga- which appears on both the protasis and apodosis. The dependent -aka- in the if-clause marks Construction III. Construction IV is a negative conditional where the negative is marked in the subordinated clause. Construction V is identified as a directive conditional in which the protasis is either imperative or subjunctive and the main clause is subjunctive. Construction VI is a concessive conditional characterized by biclausal subjunctive protasis. It is argued that reality or unreality is expressed by the choice of the conditional marker on the protasis. Conditional markers express the speaker’s assumption about whether is factual or counterfactual. Constructions marked by anda ‘if’ and the dependent prefix -aka-, and the negative conditional express factual and probable conditions, while the use of nga- expresses counterfactual conditions. Tense, aspect and mood markers do not contribute to the conditional interpretation. They relate the protasis the time and completion of the event. Semantically, Ndendeule conditionals appear on Taylor’s (1997) gradient on three points, namely, factual, hypothetical and counterfactual.