Vol 26 No 3 (2017): Nordic Journal of African Studies
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A Construction Grammar Account of Zulu Singular/Plural Inflection

Andrew Van der Spuy
Nordic Journal of African Studies
Published September 30, 2017

Abstract

Construction Grammar is a linguistic framework which postulates that all grammar is based on a single entity, the construction, defined as ‘an arbitrary and conventional pairing of form… and meaning’ (Hoffmann and Trousdale 2013:1). This article presents a Construction Grammar account of Zulu nouns and their singular/plural inflection. It describes the canonical singular/plural paradigms for Zulu nouns, and also those that are aberrant in terms of their morphology or their expected pairing. Finally, it presents the forms that arise owing to phonological alternations, thus suggesting how phonology might be handled in the framework of Construction Grammar.