Original Research

’n Oorsig oor die grammatiese beskrywing van die sogenaamde ‘onderwerpskakel’ in Sotho en Zulu: histories en kontemporêr

W. J. Pretorius
Literator | Vol 20, No 2 | a473 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v20i2.473 | © 1999 W. J. Pretorius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 1999 | Published: 26 April 1999

About the author(s)

W. J. Pretorius, Departement Afrikatale, Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, Auckland Park, South Africa

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Abstract

A synopsis of the grammatical description of the so-called ‘subject concord’ in Sotho and Zulu: historical and comtemporary views
The term "concord” is generally used as an umbrella term for a diversity of language forms in the morphological description of language units in African languages. Since “concord" does not specifically indicate a unit of rank in the morphological hierarchy of language symbols, but implicitly refers to the function of language units, the result of this practice is that a purely grammatical distinction between related language units is not always possible. For example, historically and contemporarily, the so-called "subject concord" is often interpreted in morphologically diverse and often even contradictory ways. This article examines the grammatical status of the so-called "subject concord” in Northern Sotho and Zulu in terms of existing views regarding its morphological or word status in the light of Van Wyk's (1953, 1958 and 1967) research. Specific attention is paid to changes in rank, drawing a clear distinction between “subject concords” as verbal prefixal morphemes and “subject concords” as particle words. Finally, it is recommended that a clear grammatical distinction should be drawn between morphemes and words, and furthermore that reference to these units should differ terminologically. This viewpoint suggests that the term "concord" should rather be avoided completely.

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