The relative clause and its tones in Tswana


  • Sabine Zerbian



The morpho-syntax of relative clauses in Sotho-Tswana is relatively well-described in the literature. Prosodic characteristics, such as tone, have received far less attention in the existing descriptions. After reviewing the basic morpho-syntactic and semantic features of relative clauses in Tswana, the current paper sets out to present and discuss prosodic aspects. These comprise tone specifications of relative clause markers such as the demonstrative pronoun that acts as the relative pronoun, relative agreement concords and the relative suffix. Further prosodic aspects dealt with in the current article are tone alternations at the juncture of relative pronoun and head noun, and finally the tone patterns of the finite verbs in the relative clause. The article aims at providing the descriptive basis from which to arrive at generalizations concerning the prosodic phrasing of relative clauses in Tswana.






Zerbian, Sabine. 2010. „The Relative Clause and Its Tones in Tswana“. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 53 (Januar):227-42.