This paper represents the first steps toward a semantics for the locative system of Mushunguli (Bantu, Somalia). The Mushunguli locative system includes the three traditional Bantu locative classes: 16, 17, and 18. The paper focuses on the class 16 and 17 morphemes ha- and ku-. It provides evidence 1) that both morphemes have a general locative meaning similar to English at, and 2) that both involve implications relating the location of the spatial scene they describe to the location of the point of view adopted by the speaker. Some of the implications relating to point of view are not encoded in the conventional entailments of ha- and ku-, but instead are presupposed or conversationally implicated by their use in particular contexts. Developing a unified semantics of the locative morphemes thus requires considering the interplay of all three elements of meaning. This paper is the first attempt to develop such a unified semantics for a Bantu locative system, and the first analysis to recognize the integral role played by point of view in the meanings of Bantu locatives.
Selected Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on African Linguistics: Linguistic Interfaces in African Languages
edited by Ọ
la Orie and Karen W. Sanders
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