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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Akademie Verlag 2012

Die Subjektpräfixe des Swahili in kolonialzeitlichen Sprachbeschreibungen

Susanne Hackmack


The question whether the subject prefixes in Swahili verb morphology have the status of pronouns (in the widest sense), agreement markers (in the widest sense) or both – depending on the syntactic context, i.e. the absence or occurrence of a co-nominal – is a controversial topic in modern linguistics. After a brief introduction, the article traces this discussion back to some early works on Swahili published during colonial times. It is shown that these works foreshadow certain aspects of present-day analyses but it is also shown that the comparison of different approaches (modern vs. colonial times as well as alternative modern approaches) is hampered by the fact that the constructs and terms used are very much tied to their respective linguistic framework.