The Bantu language Kinande has a particle called the linker that occurs between internal arguments of the verb and, under certain conditions, between adjuncts or between an internal argument and an adjunct. Baker & Collins (2006) propose that its function is to assign Case. Empirical evidence against this analysis is introduced. Richards (2010) argues that the linker introduces a new phase so that two like-labeled XPs can be linearized. It is demonstrated that this is empirically incorrect: the linker also separates unlike-labeled XPs. It is proposed that the linker is actually a copula that behaves like a copula in copular inversion constructions under certain circumstances. The apparent free word order within the verb phrase in Kinande is discussed and it is argued that the freedom of word order does not violate the Minimal Link Condition (MLC). Thus, contra Baker & Collins (2006), it is not necessary to conclude that the MLC is parameterized and that Kinande, as a parametric option, does not adhere to the MLC. Instead, Kinande simply displays the word order variation that is typical of inverse copular constructions.
Selected Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference on African Linguistics
edited by Ruth Kramer, Elizabeth C. Zsiga, and One Tlale Boyer
Table of contents