Reflexive and Reciprocal Syntax Revisited

ISBN 978-3-89645-707-3

Reflexive and Reciprocal Syntax Revisited

Apologia for Internal Evidence in Kiswahili

Author: Assibi Apatewon Amidu. Series edited by: Bernd Heine, Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig †.

Series: EALD East African Languages and Dialects Volume 22

16 pp. Roman, 188 pp.
numerous tables and charts
Text language(s): English
Format: 170 x 240 mm
450 g
€ 39.80

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In this volume, the author presents several semantic and syntactical conceptions of reciprocity and reflexivity in Kiswahili. Onto a brief introduction into his studies and the intended terminology, the second chapter is about the syntactical application of the reflexive nouns nafsi and roho, focusing the construction of noun phrases, particularly of object noun phrases. In chapter three, next follows an examination of the syntactical passivization of reflexive constituents. A classification of the reflexive marker {ji} into the Swahili-noun class system is being conducted and the typical semantic and syntactical attributes of this reflexive marker are being elucidated in chapter four. Furthermore, the author comments on the anaphoric qualities and syntactical causalities of reflexive noun phrases.

In the second part of this book, the author addresses the syntax and semantics of reciprocity. Therefore, in chapter five he examines culturally determined implications that can express “the interrelationship between language, experience and social roles” (Amidu 2011: 147) in terms of reciprocity used in transitive sentences. Thereto he analyses the patterns of the syntactical use of active and passive constituents. That reciprocal construc­tions are also possible in intransitive sentences in Swahili is demonstrated in chapter six.

Thus, logical concepts do not only form the basis of the reciprocal and reflexive syntax and semantics of Swahili in grammatical patterns but also in the speakers’ cultural-linguistic self-perception of the language. Through these recent findings of Swahili-research it be­comes apparent that former theories such as the theory of reciprocity occurring only in transitive sentences can be considered obsolete. In addition, the author opens up new vistas and aspects for further analyses.

Under these links you will find publications by the author and further analyses of Swahili grammar and of related Bantu languages:


Accompanying material:


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