The Setswana Independent Pronoun, an Integral Constituent or a Resumptive Appendage to Lexical NP Topic?

  • Setumile Morapedi English Department, University of Botswana
Keywords: neuter constructions, verbal extensions, argument structure alternations, morpho-syntax, morphological processes, intransitive, linked parallel structures, association of semantic roles


This paper examines the pronoun occurring in verb complex in Setswana declarative sentences, showing their referential agreement with externally occurring topic noun phrases. It has been found out that this pronoun has the same distribution as a lexical object noun phrase, and thus giving the impression that it is the grammatical subject of the sentence. Similarly, when the pronoun occurs in preverbal position, there is a tendency for it to be viewed as a canonical subject pronoun. The paper argues that the pronoun in this position is an independent resumptive pronoun which agrees with its referent which is a Lexical topic NP.