Browsing Research Articles (African Languages) by Title
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- ItemCartography of Short yiqtol in Biblical Hebrew(Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 2016) Andrason, AlexanderENGLISH ABSTRACT: This paper provides a dynamic (i.e. cognitive, typological and grammaticalization driven) analysis of short yiqtol in Biblical Hebrew. The author argues that short yiqtol can be understood as a coherent construction if it is modeled as a wave – a synchronic two-dimensional map whose components are related cognitively (as visualized by the x axis) and specified for their degree of prototypicality (as visualized by the y axis). The evidence demonstrates that short yiqtol should be classified as a gram that travels a modal-contamination path. Its contamination originated in a deontic context of speaker modality (both affirmative and negative), subsequently extended to subordinate uses (goal) and future values (first in apodoses and next in other syntactic environments). In Biblical Hebrew, the zone of prototypicality includes deontic senses. The value of goal constitutes the secondary peak of prototypicality. The sense of futurity is non-prototypical.
- ItemCognate objects of weather verbs in African languages of South Africa – from synchronic variation to a grammaticalization path(Stellenbosch University, Department of Linguistics, 2017) Andrason, Alexander; Visser, MariannaThe authors argue that the synchronic variation of cognate objects of weather verbs exhibited in six African languages of South Africa (Sepedi, Sesotho, Tshivenda, isiXhosa, Xitsonga, and isiZulu) has a diachronic explanation, and may be represented as a grammaticalization path. This path gradually leads from prototypical cognate objects that disallow object agreement (pronominalization) and promotion to subjects in passive constructions to prototypical objects where both agreement (pronominalization) and promotion are grammatical. This provides further support for the modelling of cognate objects, adjuncts and arguments in terms of a continuum and for a gradient view of syntactic categories, in general.
- ItemThe collective voice in The Madonna of Excelsior : narrating transformative possibilities(AOSIS Publishing, 2006-06-30) Zulu, N. S.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The collective voice in the novel, “The Madonna of Excelsior” (2002), reveals that crossing of borders is a process characterised by cultural contact that reduces cultural polarisation and makes social transformation possible. This article examines the transformative potential of the novel. The first part of the novel indicates that the transformation of polarised South African society is inevitable, desirable and possible in order to normalise life. This transformation does, however, involve transgression and contestation of the old order. To present the possibility of transformation, the collective voice in the novel makes the Immorality Act the object of its satire, revealing the failure of apartheid nationalism and its master narrative. The alternative offered in the second part of the novel is a transforming macrocosm – a South African society that grapples with crossing apartheid’s borders.
- ItemComparative syntax of the SA Bantu languages: Transitive and intransitive verbs in the SA Bantu languages(2013-09) Du Plessis, Jacobus A.Attention has been focused on the syntactic structure in which these verbs may appear, various features specific to these verbs as well as some verb classes in which these verbs regularly appear. The syntactic structure in which the intransitive verbs appear is the one developed within the Minimalist program with two verbal shells where the upper verbal shell is projected from a pjhonetically null light verb. The second verbal shell is assumed to be introduced by the [VP]. Intransitive verbs are distinguished as unergative and unaccusative verbs. They may appear with cognate objects, manner DPs and idiomatic objects. Various verb classes with intransitive verbs have been dealt with e.g. state verbs and verbs relating to the body. Transitive verbs with one internal argument appear in the same type of structure as the intransitive verbs. Various features of transitive verbs have been high-lighted as for instance word order, focus on the object, objectival agreement, stylistic movement, coordinated objects and other issues, as well as specific verb classes in which transitive verbs appear. Lastly, ditransitive verbs appear in structures with the same categories as with other verbs, but each time with two internal arguments. Some features of these verbs are given as well as verb classes in which ditransitive verbs frequently appear.
- ItemComparative syntax of the South African Bantu Languages : complex predicates(2013-09) Du Plessis, Jacobus A.There are four complex predicates in the SA Bantu languages, i.e. predicates with copulative verbs, deficient verbs, the verbs thi/re and probability verbs. The last three complex predicates have been dealt with here. For the copulative verbs see i.a. http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4468. The probability verbs are related to the English verb seem. It is a deficient verb in these languages which may appear with various complements, in some languages with up to ten different structures and in some cases they are also related to issues of comparison. The verbs thi/re (“say”) have been addressed with attention to its distribution, its complements, its agreement and specifically its use in expressions of time or duration. The third verb in a complex predicate is a deficient verb of which there are quite a number in these languages. They have to appear with a CP as complement. They refer to a variety of semantic interpretations such as duration in time (26 different times have been established) as well as other features such as the continuative, iterative, contrastive, completive, manner, obligation and habitual. Ten such semantic interpretations are thus possible with these deficient verbs.
- ItemComparative syntax of the South African Bantu Languages : derived verbs and transitivity in the Bantu languages(2013-09) Du Plessis, Jacobus A.There are thirteen derivational affixes in these languages of which only the reflexive is a prefix of a verb. Many of these affixes have no syntactic influence on the structure of clauses but they are only semantic changing affixes. Only those affixes which have some influence on the syntactic structure of sentences have been given some attention. The syntactic structures in which these derived verbs appear are related to the structures which are developing within the Minimalist program. Within these structures a new syntactic category has been added for each verbal affix. Thus, for instance with the applicative affix [-el-] a syntactic category “app” has been added as head of a category “applicative phrase” (APP). With each verbal affix such a category appears with various other syntactic categories as complement, or such complements may appear in other positions within the structure as for instance in the passive construction. All these constructions have also been semantically interpreted. Secial attention is also focused on causative alternation or causation where a category “cause” has been postulated as a possible solution to this alternation. The locative alternation as well as the locative category and verb classes with locatives has been examined with regard to transitivity. It has been found that Topicalization from Information structure is deemed to be necessary. Lastly, the verbal affixes may appear in combination with each other and two such combinations for these affixes have been examined. In each case the two affixes retain their specific categories, structures, complements and semantic interpretation.
- ItemThe coordinators i and z in Polish : a cognitive-typological approach (PART 1)(De Gruyter Open, 2017) Andrason, AlexanderDeveloped within the frame of cognitive and typological linguistics, the present study examines the taxonomical status of the lexemes i and z in Polish. To achieve this aim, the author analyzes the compliance of the two forms with the prototype of coordinate-hood and the structure of their maps of polyfunctionality. The evidence demonstrates that i is a canonical instantiation of the category of coordinate-hood while z is less canonical. Additionally, the two lexemes yield different maps of polyfunctionality (with distinct prototypicality nuclei), which reflects their distinct diachronic and conceptual origin. The map of i radiates from the value of ‘also’ while the map of z radiates from a comitative sense.
- ItemThe coordinators i and z in Polish : a cognitive-typological approach (Part 2)(De Gruyter Open, 2017) Andrason, AlexanderENGLISH ABSTRACT: Developed within the frame of cognitive and typological linguistics, the present study examines the taxonomical status of the lexemes i and z in Polish. To achieve this aim, the author analyzes the compliance of the two forms with the prototype of coordinate-hood and the structure of their maps of polyfunctionality. The evidence demonstrates that i is a canonical instantiation of the category of coordinate-hood while z is less canonical. Additionally, the two lexemes yield different maps of polyfunctionality (with distinct prototypicality nuclei), which reflects their distinct diachronic and conceptual origin. The map of i radiates from the value of ‘also’ while the map of z radiates from a comitative sense. This article – the last in a series of two – completes the presentation of the empirical evidence and interprets it within the adopted framework. The degrees of canonicity of i and z are determined and the semantic-functional maps of the two lexemes are compared.
- ItemThe curse of poverty and marginalisation in language development : the case of Khoisan languages of Botswana(Department of General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University, 2019) Chebanne, Andy; Dlali, MawandeENGLISH ABSTRACT: Khoisan languages are spoken by tiny and remote-dwelling communities of Botswana, the members of which are characterised by socio-economic hardships and illiteracy in their own languages and in general. Historically and socially, these people emerged from a life of hunting and gathering, and, in that lifestyle mode, they were easily subdued and exploited by other language communities for cheap and serf labour. Colonialism found them in this social state, and post-colonialism has left them in the same state. As poor and marginalised subalterns, they have not had any means to advocate for their language and culture, and are currently assimilated into other peoples’ languages and cultures. Consequently, the remaining languages of these communities, spoken in remote areas by poor people, are threatened with extinction because they remain under-developed, under-documented, and are at best still at the stage of documentation by anthropologists and linguists. As illiterate people, the speakers of these Khoisan languages have no survival strategies for their languages in this ever-evolving, modern world. With their poverty and sociolinguistic marginalisation, they are devoid of any means of promoting their languages. This discussion focuses on the pitiful situation of the Khoisan languages of Botswana. Botswana’s language-use policy will be critically examined and characterised as one factor in the marginalisation and disempowerment of minority groups, both of which lead to the languages’ endangerment and death.
- ItemDative applicative elements in Arusa (Maa) : a canonical approach to the argument-adjunct distinction(Department of General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University, 2019) Andrason, Alexander; Karani, MichaelENGLISH ABSTRACT: The present paper analyzes the degree of the argumenthood or adjuncthood of elements licensed by the dative applicative (DA) construction in Arusa within a canonical approach to the argument-adjunct distinction. After testing DA elements for the various criteria and diagnostics associated with the typologically-driven prototype of arguments and adjuncts, the authors conclude the following: in most cases, DA elements behave as canonical arguments and are therefore located close to the argumenthood pole of the argument-adjunct continuum.
- ItemThe deficient verb [ba] in isiXhosa(2014) Du Plessis, Jacobus A.The aim of this article is to establish how factivity clauses such as [ba-lamb-ile] (they are hungry) may appear in clauses which express certainty or consecutive in isiXhosa. For this purpose the influence of the deficient verb [ba] will be examined.
- ItemThe EK construction in Xhosa : a cognitive account(2017-11-29) Andrason, Alexander; Dlali, MawandeENGLISH ABSTRACT: Developed within the frame of cognitive linguistics, this paper argues that the entire syntactic and semantic profile of the EK gram can be unified and viewed as coherent by modeling it as a map of different but related features. This understanding gives access both to the extreme variability of the EK form and to its internal cohesion, without equating this construction with one taxonomical category or postulating a set of invariant properties. The synchronic evidence demonstrates that the traits such as intransitivity, non-agentivity, resultativity/ stativity, and modality are prototypical. Other traits, e.g. (semi-)transitivity, (semi-)agentivity, spontaneity, and impetus are less prototypical or nonprototypical. The former class is psychologically associated with the EK gram, while the latter class does not enter into speakers’ representation of this form. The true cohesion of the EK gram is, however, recoverable only diachronically. The historical center of the map of the EK form corresponds to an in-/detransitive, agentless, resultative gram. This input construction has developed all the other properties visualized as components of the map (e.g. functions that are more transitive and more agentive, as well as stative and modal senses) by following a set of crosslinguistically common evolutionary tendencies or grammaticalization paths.
- ItemThe exotic nature of ideophones – from Khoekhoe to Xhosa(University of Stellenbosch, Department of General Linguistics, 2017) Andrason, AlexanderThe present paper analyzes the exoticness of Khoekhoe-sourced ideophones as a possible factor that stimulated the introduction of certain phonological novelties to the sound system of Xhosa. Having analyzed Khoekhoe-sourced ideophones of Xhosa for five exotic features postulated crosslinguistically (aberrant sounds and configurations of sounds, length, tones and harmony), the author concludes the following: due to their intense phonological exoticness and the crosslinguistic propensity for unaltered borrowing, Khoekhoe-sourced ideophones may have played a relevant role in the Khoekhoe-Xhosa transfer. The efficiency of this transfer seems to be correlated with the frequency of a given exotic feature in the donor Khoekhoe lexemes.
- ItemExploring a forward design dimension in the design of school-based Kiswahili teaching syllabi for primary schools in Uganda(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018) Jjingo, Caesar; Visser, MariannaENGLISH ABSTRACT: In Uganda, delays in teaching and learning of Kiswahili in primary schools have been experienced since their establishment in the education systems in the 1920s. At present, the language-in-education policy requires the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) to prepare instructional materials for facilitating the teaching of Kiswahili as a compulsory subject from primary schools to secondary schools. However, the NCDC has been able to produce and launch the Kiswahili teaching syllabi for secondary schools only, delaying the introduction of the teaching syllabi for primary schools. This theoretical paper argues that the absence of a Kiswahili conventional syllabus in primary schools has led teachers to (i) abandon the teaching profession as Kiswahili language teachers, and (ii) attempt ‘designing’ individual-based (hereafter, school-based) syllabi. The paper intends to demonstrate how the quality of the existing school-based syllabi can be improved and also aims to demonstrate (to language teaching researchers, advisers and language teachers) in general, how teachers can design their respective school-based syllabi purposefully to strengthen the teaching and learning of Kiswahili in their respective schools and classrooms.
- ItemFrom African languages to an African perspective on language : the work and research of Prof. Marianna W. Visser(Department of General Linguistics, Stellenbosch University, 2019) Andrason, AlexanderENGLISH ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the contribution of Prof. Marianna W. Visser to African linguistics. I present the academic and professional trajectory of Prof. Visser and her research achievements, focusing on publications in three branches of language science: formal linguistics (morpho-syntax and semantics), applied linguistics (language policy and multilingual education), and text-linguistics (appraisal theory and discourse analysis). These three areas and their respective themes are subsequently reflected in the selection of articles included in the volume, which this article also introduces.
- ItemA general lexicographic model for a typological variety of dictionaries in African languages(Bureau of the WAT, 2014) Faass, Gertrud; Bosch, Sonia E.; Gouws, Rufus H.So far, there have been few descriptions on creating structures capable of storing lexicographic data, ISO 24613:2008 being one of the latest. Another one is by Spohr (2012), who designs a multifunctional lexical resource which is able to store data of different types of dictionaries in a user-oriented way. Technically, his design is based on the principle of a hierarchical XML/OWL (eXtensible Markup Language/Web Ontology Language) representation model. This article fol-lows another route in describing a model based on entities and relations between them; MySQL (usually referred to as: Structured Query Language) describes a database system of tables containing data and definitions of relations between them. The model was developed in the context of the project "Scientific eLexicography for Africa" and the lexicographic database to be built thereof will be implemented with MySQL. The principles of the ISO model and of Spohr's model are adhered to with one major difference in the implementation strategy: we do not place the lemma in the centre of attention, but the sense description — all other elements, including the lemma, depend on the sense description. This article also describes the contained lexicographic data sets and how they have been collected from different sources. As our aim is to compile several prototypical internet dictionaries (a monolingual Northern Sotho dictionary, a bilingual learners' Xhosa–English dictionary and a bilingual Zulu–English dictionary), we describe the necessary microstructural elements for each of them and which principles we adhere to when designing different ways of accessing them. We plan to make the model and the (empty) database with all graphical user interfaces that have been developed, freely available by mid-2015.
- ItemGenre analysis and task-based course design for isiXhosa second language teaching in local government contexts(Stellenbosch University, 2004) Visser, Mariana; Venter, EdithThe successful implementation of a multilingual language policy in the public and private sectors in South Africa depends on vibrant research. This article explores the design and nature of the isiXhosa communication tasks for specific purposes second language teaching in local government context, within a framework of genre-based and task-based approaches to language teaching. These two approaches also form the theoretical basis of the analysis of the rhetorical move structure and the task types of selected communication tasks.
- ItemIdeophones as linguistic "rebels" : the extra-systematicity of ideophones in Xhosa (part 1)(Institute of Oriental Studies of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, 2020) Andrason, AlexanderENGLISH ABSTRACT: This paper contributes to the study of structural distinctiveness of the category of ideophony. The author analyzes the extent to which Xhosa ideophones exhibit the so-called extra-systematic properties, which cross-linguistically tend to distinguish ideophones from other lexical classes. The analysis demonstrates that ideophones are relatively extra-systematic in Xhosa, although their extra-systematicity is not unitary. It is the largest in morphology, slightly less visible in phonology, and only residual in syntax. It is proposed that the distinct degrees of extrasystematicity are related to differences in grammaticalization and a gradual integration of ideophones into the Xhosa grammar – with the adjustment in syntax occurring faster than the morphological adaptation. In this paper – the first in a series of two articles – the author deals with methodological issues and introduces evidence related to the phonology and morphology of ideophones in Xhosa.
- ItemThe interrogative in the S.A. Bantu languages(2014) Du Plessis, Jacobus A.The article will give an overview of questions in the S.A. Bantu languages with specific attention to the syntax and semantics of these sentence, i.e. the structure and meaning of interrogative clauses. For this purpose the following issues will be dealt with: (a) The difference between statements and questions with focus on the features of questions; (b) The difference between yes-no questions and specificational questions with interrogative words, as well as between direct and indirect questions; (c) Interrogative words and their functional positions in sentences; and (d) Clefted sentences with questions.
- ItemLeft dislocation : an exploration in linguistic typology(University of Stellenbosch, Department of General Linguistics, 2016) Andrason, Alexander; Westbury, Josh; Van der Merwe, Christo H. J.No abstract available