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There have been a number of reports in the linguistic literature, dating back to the beginning of the previous century, about a ‘weak/strong’ or ‘conjoint/disjoint’ distinction between verbal forms in Bantu languages. Some linguists described the distinction as follows: Only the disjoint form can be used in final sentence position, implying a break between the verb and what follows, whereas the conjoint form implies a continuity. The present study of two Makonde variants spoken in southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique pays detailed attention to this distinction between verbal forms as part of a general overview of participant marking in the present volume; it also shows that the conjoint/disjoint distinction exists between (nominal) specifiers as well. This distinction is based on pragmatics, with focus and information structure of the sentence in general being the key words connected with this distinction.


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