Locative inversion has often been treated as an unaccusativity phenomenon in languages as typologically different as English and Chichewa (e.g. Bresnan 1990). Yet Bantu languages show some diversity in the thematic structure of verbs that can occur with locative inversion and related expletive/impersonal constructions. This paper provides a detailed examination of locative inversion and expletive constructions in Setswana,showing that this class of presentational focus constructions exhibits morphological,syntactic, agreement, and discourse characteristics that differ from those of Chichewa and other Bantu languages. It shows that these differences, the result of morphological loss during historical change, can best be understood synchronically within a theory of partial information structures (Bresnan 1982).
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Journal of African Languages and Linguistics|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|