Hannah Gibson

Hannah Gibson
University of Essex · Department of Language and Linguistics

PhD linguistics

About

24
Publications
4,768
Reads
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46
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
42 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220246810
20162017201820192020202120220246810
20162017201820192020202120220246810
20162017201820192020202120220246810
Introduction
Much of my research examines linguistic variation in the Bantu languages of East Africa. My current research is primarily concerned with the ways languages do - and do not - change over time and space. I am particularly interested in language change in contexts of high linguistic diversity and what happens in contact involving speakers of unrelated languages. I am also interested in formal models of linguistic knowledge and much of my work is articulated in the Dynamic Syntax framework.
Education
October 2008 - August 2012
SOAS, University of London
Field of study
  • Linguistics
October 2007 - September 2008
SOAS, University of London
Field of study
  • Linguistics
September 2003 - June 2007
SOAS, University of London
Field of study
  • Law and Swahili

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores a connection between Romance and Greek on the one hand, and Bantu on the other. More specifically, we look at auxiliary placement in Rangi and clitic placement in Tobler Mussafia languages, with a special emphasis on Cypriot Greek, and argue that a common explanation for their distribution can be found once a move into a dynamic...
Article
Full-text available
Bantu inversion constructions include locative inversion, patient inversion (also called subject–object reversal), semantic locative inversion and instrument inversion. The constructions show a high level of cross-linguistic variation, but also a core of invariant shared morphosyntactic and information structural properties. These include: that the...
Article
The Tanzanian Bantu languages Rangi and Mbugwe both employ a double negation marking strategy. In Rangi, verbal negation is achieved through the presence of a pre-verbal negative marker and a negative marker which appears either post-verbally or in a clause-final position. In Mbugwe, negation is indicated by a prefix that appears on the verb form a...
Article
The Tanzanian Bantu language Rangi exhibits a comparatively and typologically unusual word order alternation in the future tense. Whilst declarative main clauses exhibit post-verbal auxiliary placement, the auxiliary appears pre-verbally in wh-questions, sentential negation, relative clauses, cleft constructions and subordinate clauses. This paper...
Article
Full-text available
Japanese and Rangi (a Bantu language) employ cleft constructions to encode pragmatic functions relating to discourse salience. In Japanese, a cleft is formed through the nominaliser 'no,' the topic marker 'wa,' and the copula 'da.' In Rangi, a cleft is formed through the copula 'ní' which appears before the focus. This article provides a descriptio...
Article
Full-text available
The close cross-linguistic relation between the domains of space and time has been well described. The frequent emergence of Tense-Aspect-Mood (TAM) markers from deictic motion verbs in particular, has also been extensively detailed in the literature. This paper focusses on the less well-known link between associated motion, a category of functiona...
Article
Full-text available
The study investigates language use and identity navigation among Nigerian migrants with a focus on language use in public and social spaces in Cape Town, South Africa. It reports on ethnographic observation, participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Findings reveal the use of spoken Igbo and isiXhosa in interactions among primarily I...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the use of Swahili for education in Tanzania, focusing on rural areas where Swahili is not the main language of the community. Current language policy mandates Swahili as the exclusive Medium of Instruction at primary level throughout the country. However, findings reported here show that in parts of rural Tanzania, children l...
Article
Full-text available
Multilingualism is widespread amongst individuals and communities in African countries. However, language-in-education policies across the continent continue to privilege monolingual approaches to language use in the classroom. In this paper we highlight the colonial origins of these monolingual ideologies and discuss the detrimental effects which...
Article
Full-text available
Dynamic Syntax (DS: Kempson et al. 2001; Cann et al. 2005) is an action-based grammar formalism which models the process of natural language understanding as monotonic tree growth. This paper presents an introduction to the notions of incrementality and underspecification and update, drawing on the assumptions made by DS. It lays out the tools of t...
Article
Full-text available
There is a high degree of morphosyntactic microvariation with respect to the number and position of object markers found across Bantu languages. This paper examines variation in object marking in Swahili, against the backdrop of variation in object marking in Bantu more broadly. Verb forms in Standard Swahili are well-known to typically only permit...
Article
Full-text available
Ikisiri Katika makala hii tumewasilisha matokeo ya utafiti wetu kuhusu lugha 19 za Kibantu za Afrika Mashariki. Tumeonesha kwamba kuna makundi makuu matatu ambayo yanafanana kiasi cha asilimia 70 au zaidi. Makundi haya yanajikuta katika maeneo mbalimbali ya eneo la utafiti wetu. Kuna kundi la kaskazini, la kati, na la kusini. Tumetumia mbinu maalum...
Article
Bantu languages employ a combination of simple and compound verb forms to encode tense-aspect-mood distinctions. Compound constructions typically involve an auxiliary form followed by an inflected main verb. However, the six East African Bantu languages under examination in this paper exhibit a word order in which the auxiliary appears after the ve...
Article
Ngoreme (Bantu JE401) is spoken in the Mara Region of northwest Tanzania, and presents an interesting case study in the attempt to disentangle contact from genetic inheritance. Ngoreme is located geographically in between two major subgroups in the region, 'North Mara' (NM) and 'South Mara > Western Serengeti' (SM > WS) (Roth 2018; Schoenbrun 1997;...
Article
The Bantu language Rangi is spoken at the northern borderlands of Tanzania, where Bantu, Cushitic and Nilotic languages meet. In many regards, Rangi exhibits the morphosyntax typically associated with East African Bantu: SVO word order, an extensive system of agreement and predominantly head-marking morphology. However, the language also exhibits a...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of variation in Bantu non-verbal predication and copula constructions. These constructions exhibit a wide range of fine-grained micro-variation against a backdrop of broad typological similarity across the Bantu family. Variation is seen in the function of copulas, in their morphosyntactic properties, and with resp...
Article
Zimmerman Klaus &Kellemeier-Rehbein Birte (eds.), Colonialism and missionary linguistics (Colonial and Postcolonial Linguistics 5). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2015. Pp. x + 266. - Volume 52 Issue 1 - Hannah Gibson
Chapter
Chapter Summary Many Bantu languages have a system of complex verbal constructions, where several verbal forms combine to describe a single event. Typically, these consist of an auxiliary and a main verb, and often tense-aspect marking and subject agreement is found on both forms. In this paper we develop a parsing-based, Dynamic Syntax analysis of...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The project reflects on language and identity through the lens of migration. It investigates language (multilingual) practices/choice/use and identity negotiation among migrants in different linguistic ecologies-intra-Africa as well as Africa-European migrant spaces.
Project
An incremental, parsing oriented model for natural language syntax. Applications ranging from purely morphosyntactic phenomena like clitics all the way to interaction and dialogue modeling
Project
The Leverhulme-funded project explores linguistic similarities within a sample of Bantu languages, and aims to demonstrate how the structures of different Bantu languages have been shaped by the interaction of processes of historical innovation, language contact, and universal functions of human language. It adopts a new approach to Bantu classification by working with grammatical (mophosyntactic) data (rather than lexical or phonological data), and aims to shed light on the intricate interaction between language change and contact within (rather than across) one genetic family. In particular, it probes the hypothesis that Bantu languages are both a genetic unit and a linguistic area and aims to show how the two processes of change and contact lead to different effects. More information is available here: https://www.soas.ac.uk/linguistics/morphosyntactic-variation-in-bantu/