Is there a passive in Dhuluo


  • Eunita D. Ochola


passive, Dhoulou, Nilotic, pseudo-passive


This article presents an analysis of a particular passive-like syntactic construction in Dholuo, a Nilotic language spoken in parts of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. While the construction analyzed resembles the passive construction in English in which the fronted patient/theme is the subject NP, the analysis shows that this construction is not a true passive in Dholuo, but rather a pseudo-passive. The peculiarity of the Dholuo pseudo-passive is that the fronted patient is not the NP subject of the construction; rather, it is a preposed object that is adjoined to IP. What distinguishes this construction from "classic" passive constructions is that the preposed object does not control subject verb agreement.