2021 Volume 41 Issue 1 Pages 25-42
The order of postverbal arguments and their realization as object markers have been shown to be some of the properties that evince variation in Bantu languages (cf. Marten et al., 2007). In Rutooro (JE12, Uganda), two different constraints may be said to govern the above syntactic phenomena, i.e. a morphological one for the former and a semantic one for the latter. With respect to the former, a distinction is made between monomorphemic and multimorphemic verbs as determining factors for the permutability of postverbal arguments, with multimorphemic verbs seen as allowing permutation, while monomorphemic verbs quintessentially preclude it. On the other hand, the order of object markers is variable in Rutooro, as opposed to languages such as Kihaya and Chichewa (Marten et al., 2007). In Rutooro, the order is typically contingent on whether the goal/beneficiary argument is [±human]: when the goal/beneficiary is [+human], it must be closer to the verb root, while when it is [–human], either it is flexible, as is the case for Kinyarwanda (cf. Zeller & Ngoboka, 2015) or it should exclusively be placed further from the verb root (for some speakers).