- Zulu ngani ‘why’: postverbal and yet in CP
- Volume | Issue number
- 121 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Since Rizzi’s (1999) manuscript on Italian, it has been argued for an increasing number of languages that the type of ‘why’ known as ‘reason why’ is introduced (base-generated) in the complementiser domain, rather than in a subinflectional (sub-IP) position as are other wh phrases, including ‘purpose why’. This paper is about the syntactic position of the word ngani ‘why’ in Zulu, a Bantu language (S42) of the Nguni cluster, spoken primarily in South Africa. It is argued that ngani is also base-generated in the complementiser domain, on the basis of the distribution of conjoint and disjoint verb forms, control structures, illocutionary force particles, and semantic interactions between ‘why’ and negation. This extends the analysis of ‘why’ as introduced in the complementiser domain not only to a new language family, but also to a language in which ‘why’ appears in a postverbal position.
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