Free clitics and bound affixes

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This work argues in favour of a unitary theory for free clitics, such as those we find in Romance languages, and bound affixes, which are typical of Bantu languages. Using a Clitic shell framework, as in Manzini and Savoia’s recent works, I will claim that both Romance clitics and Bantu affixes are best analysed as arguments of the verb rather than agreement markers. Furthermore, I will develop a syntactic analysis of Bantu pre-root verbal affixes, which takes into due account the asymmetrical behaviour shown towards object affixation by languages like Tshiluba and Swahili (the former allowing two or more object affixes, and the latter only one). Last but not least, I will show how from an analysis of Bantu affixes in terms of clitic projection an important insight can emerge, to the effect that the asymmetry in object passivization exhibited by the two Bantu languages is simply a consequence of the asymmetry observed in object affixation.


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