On the implications of Inalienability for Double Objects Structure

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It is the purpose of this paper to consider the double object construction in the light of some data of Kihaya and Sesotho, two Bantu languages in which the objects display symmetrical behaviour with respect to word order, cliticisation, passivisation, unspecified object deletion, and raising to subject. In some special circumstances, though, such as those where a relation of inalienability holds between the two objects, they cease to behave in the same way. An analysis of inalienability as an anaphoric relation leads us to expect the existence of asymmetry between the two objects; the word order pattems and associated syntactic phenomena encountered in these Bantu languages can be accounted for if a structure such as the one proposed by Larson (1988, 1990) for multiple complementation is assumed. This does not require appeal to a directionality parameter, since word order is derived from the hierarchical structure postulated; thus the theory of binding becomes instrumental in the establishment of structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-242
Number of pages14
JournalCatalan working papers in linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


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