Evidence from Oromo on the typology of complementation strategies

Shannon Bryant


This paper explores the clausal complementation strategies found in Oromo (Cushitic). Recent work by Wurmbrand and Lohninger (2019) suggests that languages distinguish three broad semantic categories of complement clauses, which are hierarchically ordered with respect to their syntactic complexity. Based on newly elicited data and examples from the literature, I propose that Oromo complement clauses also show this three-way split, lending support to Wurmbrand and Lohninger’s (2019) proposal. However, the distribution of clausal complement categories appears to diverge somewhat from what has been reported for other languages, suggesting some flexibility in the way certain states and events can be linguistically encoded. Situating Oromo within the typology of clausal complementation thus sheds light on the diversity of ways in which basic semantic building blocks may be incorporated into the expression of complex meanings and speaks to the import of understudied languages to typological research.


Oromo; complementation; typology; syntax-semantics interface; clause domains

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v6i1.4987

Copyright (c) 2021 Shannon Bryant

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Donate to the Open-Access Fund of the LSA

Linguistic Society of America

Advancing the Scientific Study of Language since 1924

ISSN (online): 2473-8689

This publication is made available for free to readers and with no charge to authors thanks in part to your continuing LSA membership and your donations to the open access fund.