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Effects of Head-Marking on Constituent Order in Chichewa

Sam Mchombo


Standard analyses of the morphological structure of the verb in Chichewa, and other Bantu languages, have the verb comprising a verb root to which verbal extensions such as causative, applicative, reciprocal, passive, stative, etc. are suffixed and to which prefixes are added. The prefixes, analyzed as clitics in some studies, include elements that encode information pertaining to agreement with the subject and object, tense/aspect, negation, modality, etc. The morphology of suffixation and prefixation (or cliticization) is sufficiently well established as to require no further comment.

This paper will focus on the subject and object markers, which appear on the verb head, and the consequence of their appearance on constituent order of the nominal phrases in the sentence.

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