Cyclic movement and chain resolution in Swahili relative clauses


  • Zhendong Liu University of Southern California



cyclic A'-movement, movement chain resolution, lower phase conjecture, relative marker in Bantu, Swahili relative clauses, minimality requirement on words, Bantu languages


Swahili relative clauses have three different constructions, characterized by different linear positions of a relative marker. The relative marker follows C, T and the verbal complex in each case. While some previous analyses propose construction-specific operations such as T to C or V to C movement in amba-less relatives, this study shows that the distribution of the relative marker can in fact be derived from a set of independently motivated assumptions without substantial ad-hoc proposals. I argue that the relative marker is an operator that undergoes cyclic A' movement to Spec,CP, and its various linear position results from Landau (2006)’s chain resolution algorithm conditioned by a disyllabic minimality requirement of words in Swahili (Park 1997; Scott 2015).




How to Cite

Liu, Zhendong. 2024. “Cyclic Movement and Chain Resolution in Swahili Relative Clauses”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 9 (1): 5707.