Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2211-6834
  • E-ISSN: 2211-6842
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Object markers (OMs) in Bantu languages have long been argued to be either incorporated pronouns or agreement morphemes, distinguished mainly by their ability (or not) to co-occur with (i.e. double) objects. Lubukusu appears to be an instance of OMs-as-incorporated pronouns, as OMs in neutral discourse contexts cannot double objects in a broad range of syntactic contexts. As we show, however, certain pragmatic contexts in fact do license OM-doubling; we demonstrate that OM-doubling in Lubukusu is licit only on a verum (focus) interpretation. We analyze OM-doubling within a Minimalist framework as the result of an Agree relation between the object and a verum-triggering Emphasis head (Emph°). The non-doubling OM results from an incorporation operation. We therefore claim that Lubukusu displays two distinct syntactic derivations of OMs (generating doubling and non-doubling) with the interpretive effects of OM-doubling arising from the semantic/pragmatic properties of Emph°.


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Keyword(s): Bantu; clitic doubling; clitics; Lubukusu; object marking; verum focus
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