Thursday 24th October – Allen Asiimwe & Jenneke van der Wal

Speaker: Allen Asiimwe (Makerere/Leiden) & Jenneke van der Wal (Leiden)
Title: Rukiga augments are like Greek
Date: Thursday 24 October
Venue: Lipsius 2.28
Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs (drinks afterwards at Café de Keyser)


Rukiga, a Bantu language spoken in Uganda, has augments not just on nouns but also on modifiers. Interestingly, on these modifiers, the augment is ‘optional’:

(1)    e-bi-muri          (e)-bi-rungi              (e)-bi-hango          (e)bingi
         AUG-8-flower AUG-8-beautiful    AUG-8-big              AUG-8-many
         ‘many (of the) big beautiful flowers’

Unlike previous accounts claiming a difference in definiteness or specificity, we argue that the presence of the augment on given modifiers brings about a subsective/restrictive reading (‘the big flower, as opposed to the small one’). Furthermore, we propose that they are in close apposition (unlike augmentless modifiers), just as Lekakou & Szendröi (2012) propose for Greek determiner spread, shown in (2).

(2)    to                 kokino          (to)               podilato
         the.N.SG    red.N.SG      the.N.SG     bike.N.SG
         ‘the red bike’                                                                                         Greek (Kolliakou 2004)

In the talk, we highlight the striking structural as well as interpretational parallels between Rukiga augments on modifiers and Greek determiner spread, showing how they should receive the same analysis.

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