Evidence from Oromo on the typology of complementation strategies


  • Shannon Bryant Harvard University




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


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.

Author Biography

  • Shannon Bryant, Harvard University
    I am a 5th year PhD student in Linguistics at Harvard University interested in syntax-semantics interface.




How to Cite

Bryant, Shannon. 2021. “Evidence from Oromo on the Typology of Complementation Strategies”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 6 (1): 526–540. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v6i1.4987.