Morphosyntactic variation in Bantu

I am also centrally involved in the SOAS-based project ‘Morphosyntactic variation in Bantu: Typology, contact and change‘ run under the guidance of Professor Lutz Marten and generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

This is an ambitious project that seeks to explore variation in the domain of morphosyntax in a sample of Bantu languages with a view to gaining insights into how the structures of different Bantu languages have been shaped by the interaction of processes of historical innovation, language contact, and universal functions of human language.

The project is exciting – and groundbreaking – for a number of reasons, one of which is essentially methodological. In the project we adopt a new approach to Bantu classification by working with mophosyntactic data, rather than lexical or phonological data as has often been the case in comparative work in the past.

The project is well under way and we look forward to being able to share emerging results and hypotheses in the coming months.