An argument for ezafe constructions and construct state in Zulu

Taylor Jones

Abstract


Zulu (Niger-Congo, South Africa) exhibits a complicated interplay between morphological and phonological processes that, combined with an inherited, traditionalist approach to syntactic categories in the Nguni languages, obscures an overt phoneme that is argued to be common to all complex DPs. Here it is claimed that the traditional categories of adjective, relative, compound noun, possessive, and demonstrative can all be unified under a DP approach that takes this overt phoneme to be a functional marker that is analogous to those appearing in Persian ezafe constructions and construct state constructions in Afro-Asiatic languages. This approach reduces a variety of seemingly different Zulu-specific phenomena to a single, cross-linguistically established phenomenon.

Keywords


Zulu; syntax; phonology; construct state; ezafe; Determiners

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v3i1.4353

Copyright (c) 2018 Taylor Jones

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