The great siSwati locative shift

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In siSwati the accumulation of a number of changes in the morphology and syntax of locative phrases has led to a more fundamental shift of restructuring of the underlying grammatical system – the great siSwati locative shift – so that locatives in siSwati are no longer, as in Proto-Bantu and most other present-day Bantu languages, part of the noun class system, but are prepositional. This shift explains aspects of changes in the siSwati locative system which are not otherwise independently motivated, including the degrammaticalization of a historic noun class marker into a preposition and distinct relative clause marking of locatives, and provides an example of a complex, systematic historical change of a sub-system of the grammar.


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