Doctoral Degrees (African Languages)

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    The determiner phrase syntax of iGiha: a generative syntax-interfaces approach
    (Stellenbosch -- Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Bichwa, Saul Simon; Visser, Marianna; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of African Languages.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The debate in generative linguistics on whether languages with no overt articles, including the Bantu languages, project a Determiner Phrase (DP), similarly to languages that have overt definite and indefinite articles (like ‘the’ and ‘a’ in English) informed the investigation on the igiHa NP/DP syntax conducted in this study. The main goal of this dissertation is thus to examine the evidence that igiHa, a Bantu language with no overt articles, projects a DP above NP in the syntactic representation of nominal phrases of igiHa. The study examines the igiHa complex noun phrase in providing evidence for postulating that the pre-prefix occurring in the inflection morphology of the lexical head noun, and the pre-prefix element in the inflectional morphology of different nominal modifiers is a functional category Determiner that heads a DP projection. For this purpose, the study examines the interpretative semantic, discourse-pragmatic, and information structural contrastive focus properties encoded by the (non-)occurrence of the Determiner pre-prefix in the inflectional morphology of the lexical head noun and the various nominal modifiers. The occurrence of the nominal modifiers in different syntactic positions with respect to the head noun is considered. A multi-perspective theoretical framework, exploring syntax interfaces properties was thus adopted for the study. This framework assumes the Minimalist Program principles of generative grammar, with particular focus on DP structure questions, extended to include perspectives from Cartography studies (Rizzi 1997). In addition, the theory of Definiteness and Specificity postulated by Lyons (1999), and information structural perspectives are incorporated in the framework. The study presents arguments in support of the view that the pre-prefix in igiHa is a functional category determiner, specified for the semantic feature of specificity and the information structural feature of contrastive focus. This view is evidenced in the igiHa nominal phrase data by examples where the pre-prefix occurs obligatorily or optionally in the inflectional morphology of the lexical head noun and different nominal modifiers. It is argued that the determiner pre-prefix that occurs in the inflection morphology of nominal modifiers such as the adjective, the numeral, the possessive, the clausal relative, and some quantifiers and enumeratives is a D(eterminer) predicate functional category introducing a DP predication (DPPred) projection in the representation of these igiHa nominal phrases. The study furthermore proposes that igiHa nominal modifiers such as the demonstrative and the anaphoric determiners -áá, -á-á-ndi, and nya- have an inherent feature of definiteness, whereas other modifiers, particularly the adjective, the numeral, the possessive, and the clausal relative are inherently neutral with respect to the semantic features of (in)definiteness and (non-) specificity. Some quantifiers, enumeratives, and interrogatives are inherently indefinite. However, the study argues that these nominal modifiers with a semantic feature of indefiniteness can under certain circumstances appear in definite environments. In terms of the analyses proposed for the igiHa NP/DP constructions, the Determiner pre-prefix heads the DP projection, and the demonstrative and the anaphoric determiners occupy the specifier position. The Determiner pre-prefix dominates a Focus Phrase (FocP) projection in the context where it encodes the feature of contrastive focus.
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    The locative in Luganda: a syntax-interfaces approach
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-03) Kiyinikibi, Nkonge D; Visser, Marianna W.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of African Languages
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation investigatesintransitive and transitive active, passive, neuter-passive (stative) verb constructions with locatives,including locative inversion constructions in Luganda, a Bantu language spoken in Uganda. Locatives and locative inversion have received considerable attention in research on Bantu languages, however limited research has been done on constructions containing locatives for Luganda adopting a syntax-interfaces approach, as is assumed for the current study. Thisstudy examines thepermissibility of locative inversion with intransitive and transitive verbs,and their associated interpretations in the constructions in which they occur, with respect to properties of argument structure, definiteness and specificity, informationstructure and event semantics. The interpretative properties exemplified in active, passive and neuter-passive (stative) verb constructions containing alocative, arethus correlated with their properties ofargument structure, i.e. thematicrole interpretation of DP constituents in various structural positions, such as the subject position andthe postverbal position, including locative inversion, as an argument alternationconstruction. The study furthermore examines the properties of argument structureexemplified in active passive and stative verb constructions as these relate to the analysis of event semantics, particularly thecausative/anti-causativedistinction, relevant to identifying aspectual verb class, i.e. situation type, asposited by Smith (1997).The study thus investigates how the interpretative properties of intransitive and transitive active, passive and stative verb constructions containing a locative, including locative inversion constructions, correlate with particular morphosyntacticproperties ofargument structure and the event structure these constructions exemplify.Taking into account these properties a small clause analysisisproposed for (some) locative inversion constructions that have an anti-causativeinterpretation Thus, the properties of argument structure and event semantics interpretation are invoked in providingevidence for positing an ergative verb syntax for (some) locative inversion constructions in terms of proposals by Hoekstra and Mulder (1990), and views of Pross (2020)concerning a dispositional ascription reading for the subject argumentofsome locative inversion constructions. The study thus explores the syntax interface of argumentstructure and event semantics (i.e. aspectual verb type), taking into accountthe properties of the event expressed in the sentencevariants with respect to the features [+/-Dynamic], (where causative semantics isgenerally, but not exclusively, associated with agentivity), [+/- Telic], and [+/-Durative] in determiningthe situation typeof various sentences as an activity, accomplishment, achievement event/situation, or an (habitual) state (according to proposals of Smith, 1997; Boneh and Doron, 2013; Choi and Fara, 2018). The study furthermore examines the semantic-pragmatic propertiesof definiteness and specificity of DP constituents in a range of intransitive and transitive active, passive, and neuter-passive (i.e. stative) verb construction variants. These properties are exploredin respect to the (non)-occurrence of the locative applicative suffix, the locative clitic,andthe (non-)occurrence of the pre-prefix of the noun in the postverbal DP in some sentence constructions,invoking Lyons’s (1999)notions of familiarity, identifiability, inclusiveness and uniqueness, in analysing the semantic-pragmatic factors of the speaker and hearer/ addressee knowledge in discourse context. The study explores, in addition, the interface of syntax and information structure in active, passive and neuter-passive sentence constructionscontaining alocativein examining the information structural status of various constituents, including DP, v/VP,and the clausalprojection, with regard to focus, topic, and contrast, invoking in particular, Repp’s (2016) three-fold distinction of explicitalternative, explicitalternative set, and implicit alternative, and views from Lambrecht (1994) and Krifka et al (1995) regarding the syntacticization ofinformation structural notions. The interpretative properties of constituents examined in the intransitive and transitive active, passive, and neuter-passive (stative) verb construction variants are invoked to posit a focusphrase projection on the left edge (periphery) of DP, v/VP complex, andthe clausal phrase, forparticular constituents. The issues addressed inthis examination, on the interface of information structure and morphosyntax, assumes, in particular, the cartography studies perspective of generative syntax concerning the postulation of discourse-related projections in the left-periphery of constituents, in positing structural representations, taking into account information structural properties in the respective sentence constructions. The Focus phrase, and the focus-relatedfeature specification of the Focus head, receiveparticularattentioninthisregard.
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    Argumentation involving account-giving and self-presentation in tanzanian parliamentary debates: a praga-dialectical perspective
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-12) Msagalla, Brighton Phares; Visser, Marianna Wilhelmina; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of African Languages.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigatesthe actual argumentative reality in the resolution ofdifferences of opinion involving account-giving and self-presentation in Tanzanian parliamentary debatesin Kiswahili. The research data that are analysed in this study come fromthe Hansard transcripts of the official proceedingsof the annual ministerial budget debates which were collected in their original form from the website ofthe Tanzania’s Bunge( study concentrateson three annual parliamentary debates from the last three years of President Kikwete’s second term of presidency. Following a systematic reconstruction of the selected data, the analysis focuseson thedebateson the constitutional review processin Tanzania, the ‘controversial issues’of the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, and the annual budget speech in the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children. In the analysis ofthe selected debates, the study employsthepragma-dialectical theory of argumentation as the main theory and anaccount-giving model as a complementarytheory. The findings of the study indicatethatthe first three stages of the (critical)discussions in all the three debatesexemplify, to a greater or lesser degree,the proposedpragma-dialecticalstages of a critical discussion. However, the concluding stage in all the three debates isnot materialised in the manner proposed by the theory. As regards the code of conduct, while there arecases where the rules are observedin all the three debates (e.g. the freedom rule), instances of ruleviolation (e.g. the relevance rule) arealso found. The findings further suggest that MPs employ various modes of strategic manoeuvring from all the three aspectsof topical potential, audience demand, and presentational devices. For instance, MPs’ presentational devices includethestrategic use of accusation of inconsistency, evasion, metaphors (and other figurative expressions), narratives, personal attacks, quotations, and rhetorical questions. Concerningthe prototypical argumentative patterns,theministers’ prescriptive standpoints are,atthe first level of defence,justifiedby either pragmatic argumentationin coordinative argumentationor pragmatic argumentation andsymptomatic argumentationin coordinative or multiple argumentation. In the next levels of defence, pragmatic and symptomatic argumentation arejustifiedby various (sub)types of argumentation, including authorityargumentationfrom statistics(or statistical argumentation), argumentation from example, and causal argumentation. In regard tothe argumentative style, the ministers’ argumentative style seems to exemplify a strategic combination ofdetached and engaged stylesand the argumentative style by the opposition’sspokespersons and other MPsexemplifies an engaged style. Moreover, all the four account-giving strategies (plus silence) are manifested in the ministers’ accounts offailure events as theministersaccept, deny, or evaderesponsibility.
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    Strategic maneuvering in the 2015 tanzanian presidential election campaign speeches: a pragma-dialectical perspective
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-04) Mwombeki, Gaspardus; Visser, Marianna W.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Science. Dept. of African Languages.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study investigates strategic maneuvering in the 2015 Tanzanian presidential campaign speeches of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA)/Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi (UKAWA) in the Extended pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation. The study employs the Extended pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation to analyse two inaugural speeches conducted in Kiswahili language. It also analyses a part of the CCM closing campaign, that is, a response to some argumentations of the CHADEMA/UKAWA. The study evaluates argumentation structures, argument schemes, presentational devices, successful observation of rules, identification of derailments of rules, and effectiveness and reasonableness in argumentative discourse as objectives of the study. The data were collected from the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) and from other online sources. The audio-visual speeches were transcribed and translated from Kiswahili into English. The findings of the study reveal that the complex argumentation structure dominates the rest of the argumentation structures in the speeches. Secondly, in the perspective of Pragma-dialects, the findings indicate that the three argumentation schemes namely causal relation argumentation scheme, symptomatic argumentation schemes and argumentation by analogy are employed in the speeches. More importantly, the pragmatic and majority argumentation is the prototypical argumentative pattern in the 2015 Tanzanian presidential election campaign speeches. Thirdly, findings manifest that the three aspects of strategic maneuvering namely the topical potential, audience demand, and presentational devices, are employed accordingly. Features of persuasion mainly reflected in the study include appealing to liberal and conservative presumptions, commemorating Mwalimu Nyerere and other leaders during the time of independence. The fourth finding from the study demonstrates that critical discussion rules frequently observed are the the standpoint rule, the argument scheme rule, the relevance rule, and the freedom rule. The fifth finding from the study reavel that cmpaigners frequently violate the language rule. The findings indicate that different presentational devices and criteria for reasonableness are employed, to a large extent, in presidential campaign speeches. The study recommends further investigations in the presidential campaign speeches in Kenya where Kiswahili perhaps is not used as language of independence and unity. Furthermore, an investigation into sermon speeches in other African languages in Tanzania would give insights on how the delicate balance in maintained in the Extended pragma-dialectical perspective. The study can be extended to investigating strategic maneuvering in presidential campaign speeches by merging monological speeches in dialectical profiles.
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    The internal syntax of the Chimakonde determiner phrase
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-04) Makanjila, Dominick; Visser, Marianna W.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Science. Dept. of African Languages.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the Government-and-Binding theory of generative syntax (cf. Chomsky, 1981), it was posited that a functional head D(eterminer) heads a noun phrase (NP). This view is referred to as a Determiner Phrase (DP) hypothesis (Abney, 1987). English articles are uncontroversially viewed as instantiations of D. Consequently, some scholars hold that a DP projects only in languages with articles (cf. Bruening, 2009). However, the universal view of the DP hypothesis, which this study also invokes, is that both languages with and without articles project a DP (cf. Veselovská, 2014). It is argued that articles (like those found in English) are not the only forms through which the functional category D can manifest. Different languages have different manifestations of the functional category D. The category D is viewed as the locus of (in)definiteness and (non-)specificity). As Chindonde (the Chimakonde dialect of which this study investigates the DP) does not exhibit articles nor does it have preprefixes which are also assumed to be instantiations of the functional category D in some Bantu languages (cf. Asiimwe, 2014 for Runyankore-Rukiga), the question which the present study investigated was, therefore, how the functional category D is realised morpho-syntactically in Chimakonde. To this end, the interpretation of the DP when a nominal modifier occurs pre-nominally and post-nominally was examined. This study assumed the minimalism and cartography programs as theoretical framework. These two generative syntax programmes were complemented by the semantic approaches to of (in)definiteness) and (non-)specificity posited in Lyons (1999) as well as the key notions of information structure postulated in Lambrecht (1994). The data were collected through introspection, supplemented by consultation with other native speakers of Chimakonde throughout the period of the study. Through introspection and consultations with Chimakonde native speakers, it was possible to collect non-linguistic information about Chimakonde and the data regarding various morpho-syntactic aspects relevant to the study. Furthermore, relevant studies on Chimakonde such as descriptive grammars, dissertations and articles were also consulted. The major finding of the study demonstrates that Chimakonde provides evidence for positing the functional category D in the form of the core demonstrative roots a- and u-. In Chimakonde, these roots occur optionally in postnominal position to encode deictic meaning. However, they occur obligatorily in prenominal position to encode contrastive focus, emphasis or added specificity. In light of the interpretations of the demonstrative root which obtain in prenominal position, it is postulated in this study that the demonstrative root bears the added specificity and contrastive focus features, thus instantiating the functional Determiner category (D) which heads a Chimakonde DP.