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The First Person Singular Subject Negative Portmanteau in Luganda and Lusoga

Abstract

A number of studies have provided analyses of Swahili si-, a portmanteau morpheme that conflates and replaces the first person singular subject and negative prefixes. In this short paper I present the corresponding facts from Luganda and Lusoga, two closely related Bantu languages spoken in Uganda. While the Luganda portmanteau si- bears a clear resemblance to Swahili si-, three analyses are considered for corresponding ti- in Lusoga. Although ti- looks like the main clause negative prefix occurring without a first singular subject, i.e. ti-Ø-, I argue that, despite differences, it has to treated in the same portmanteau terms as the other cases. Interestingly, while Luganda si- replaces the otherwise expected ti-n- and n-ta- sequences in main vs. relative clauses, respectively, Lusoga ti- only replaces the former.

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