Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Journal of African Languages and Linguistics

Ed. by Ameka, Felix K. / Amha, Azeb

2 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 0.583
Rank 89 out of 179 in category Linguistics in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.396
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 1.305
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.684

Online
ISSN
1613-3811
See all formats and pricing
Volume 32, Issue 2 (Jan 2011)

Issues

Categorial reanalysis and the origin of the S-O-V-X word order in Mande

Tatiana Nikitina
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Email:
Published Online: 2011-11-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jall.2011.009

Abstract

Mande languages are characterized by a typologically unusual rigid S-O-V-X word order pattern, and do not fit neatly into the traditional category of “verb-final” languages. While subjects and objects precede the verb, all oblique arguments and adjuncts follow it. Several diachronic hypotheses have been advanced to account for the word order type of Mande (Givón, Serial verbs and syntactic change: Niger-Congo, University of Texas Press, 1975, Heine and Reh, Grammaticalization and reanalysis in African languages, Helmut Buske, 1984, Claudi, Die Stellung von Verb und Objekt in Niger-Kongo-Sprachen: Ein Beitrag zur Rekonstruktion historischer Syntax, Universität zu Köln, 1993), none of which are fully satisfactory. This paper discusses new evidence from the syntax of modern Mande languages that may shed light on the historical development of the S-O-V-X word order. I argue, based on the unusual behavior of Mande postpositional phrases, that the development of S-O-V-X was a consequence of categorial reanalysis of constructions with deverbal nouns as verb phrases, with subsequent replacement of the older type of verb phrase by the newly introduced structure. The analysis is supported by a number of characteristic parallels between the syntax of Mande verb phrases and noun phrases, such as the absence, in some languages, of both verb-phrase-internal and noun-phrase-internal postpositional phrases, the absence of the genitive vs. accusative distinction, and identical restrictions on the number of complements of nouns and verbs.

About the article

Published Online: 2011-11-22

Published in Print: 2011-09-01


Citation Information: Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 1613-3811, ISSN (Print) 0167-6164, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jall.2011.009. Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in