Morphologically based agreement in Swahili

Authors

  • Karl H. Reynolds
  • Carol M. Eastman

Keywords:

noun class, agreement, Swahili, inflection, default,

Abstract

In this paper we argue that to a great extent noun class agreement in Swahili is based on inflectional features. Yet where inflectional features are not present, a derivational feature of inherent noun class controls agreement. Swahili, then, is seen as having a dual noun class system in which agreement is controlled by a hierarchical set of features ranging from inflectional to derivational. The evidence from Swahili indicates that Anderson's [1982] claim that inflectional morphology alone is relevant to syntax may be too strong and supports a weaker version admitting some interaction of derivational morphology with syntax.

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Published

1989-04-01