DP Positions in African Languages
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A central concern of syntactic theory has long been to explain and predict the distribution of nominal expressions, henceforth D(eterminer) P(hrases), and their involvement in morphosyntactic relations. Where can they occur? When can they move, control agreement, and bear Case? The study of Indo-European (IE) languages has yielded strong generalizations upon which the theory is based. As we illustrate, a number of African languages in which such phenomena have been explored seem to turn these generalizations more or less on their heads. Our project seeks to determine and to explain the possibilities and limitations of DP positions, focusing primarily on Bantu languages. Some of the issues arise also in non-Bantu African languages including Igbo and Ibibio (see Ura 1998 on Igbo hyper-raising, = raising from tensed clauses; Baker and Willie 2010 on Ibibio multiple agreement), and we hope the project can be extended to them as well.
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