Menu Expand


Questions in Northern Sotho (Bantu) 

Zerbian, Sabine

Linguistische Berichte (LB), Bd. 2006 (2006), Iss. 208: S. 30–50

Zusätzliche Informationen

Bibliografische Daten

Zerbian, Sabine


This article gives an overview of the marking of polar and constituent questions in Northern Sotho, a Bantu language of South Africa. It thereby provides a contribution to the typological investigation of sentence types in the world's languages. As will be shown, Northern Sotho follows cross-linguistic tendencies in marking interrogative sentences: It uses intonation as main indicator in polar questions and question words as main indicator in constituent questions. Nevertheless, it also shows interesting language-specific variation, e.g. with respect to the location of raised intonation in polar questions, the presence of two pragmatically distinct question particles in polar questions, or a split in the formation of constituent questions based on the grammatical function of the questioned constituent.