The focus of this paper is the distribution of counterfactuals in Zulu. Zulu counterfactuals are formed using one of two standard strategies: a dedicated counterfactual morpheme or repurposed tense and aspect morphology. In overt counterfactual conditionals, both strategies behave identically, but their behavior diverges in simple counterfactual sentences. While both types allow the counterfactual implicature to be cancelled in overt conditionals, only the repurposed morphology allows the cancellation in simple counterfactuals. This paper analyzes this distribution as the result of having an elided antecedent with generic content in the simple counterfactual cases.
Selected Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages in Contact
edited by Bruce Connell and Nicholas Rolle
Table of contents