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Book Chapter

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Pronouns and Clitics in Early Language


The study of African languages is a rapidly growing area of investigation in linguistics. It has become clear that there is a rich fund of information in the large number of African languages falling into several families that can inform the science of the universal and particular features of human language. Although the Bantu language family has no historical relation to the family of Romance languages, fruitful discussion has begun among researchers seeking to illuminate some of the special features that are shared (De Cat and Demuth 2008), especially in the area of concern here, namely clitics. But the definition of clitic within Bantu is not without controversy. In order to understand how studying acquisition can contribute to the debates on the nature of Bantu morphosyntax, we open this chapter with a brief introduction of the various proposals regarding the status of subject markers (SM) and object markers (OM) in Bantu.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.


Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.



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