Vol 26 No 4 (2017): Nordic Journal of African Studies
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Locative Markers in Kinyarwanda as Determiners

Jean Paul Ngoboka
Nordic Journal of African Studies
Published December 31, 2017


Kinyarwanda has three locative markers (ku, mu, and i), which belong to classes 17, 18, and 19 respectively, and one locative noun prefix ha- of class 16. Semantically the locative markers ku, mu, and i refer to places and seem to perform the function of prepositions found in languages such as English as they are often used with verbs of position such as -iicara 'sit', -hágarara 'stand' or movement such as -za 'come' or -jya 'go'. Syntactically they precede noun class prefixes and are in complementary distribution with augments and demonstratives. The aim of this paper is to show that unlike ha- of class 16, the locative markers ku, mu, and i are not noun class prefixes. It is also shown that they are not prepositions; although they have semantic properties of prepositions, syntactically they are determiners on a par with augments and demonstratives.