Sebastian DomUniversity of Gothenburg | GU · Department of Languages and Literatures
Doctor of Philosophy
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Citations since 2017
8 Research Items
My research focuses on verbal morphology, morphosemantics and morphosyntax in Bantu languages, and more specifically on tense/aspect and valency, from a descriptive, comparative and historical perspective.
March 2020 - present
- PostDoc Position
- I work full-time as a post-doctoral researcher on the project 'To break or be broken - A study of valency-decreasing alternations in East Ruvu Bantu languages', funded by the Swedish Research Council.
December 2019 - February 2020
- Ingénieur de recherche en production, traitement et analyse de données
- This work involved the editing of a digitized dictionary written by Karl Laman from 1912 on the Bantu language Kimanyanga, in preparation for its addition to RefLex, an online reference corpus (https://sites.google.com/site/referencelexicon/).
November 2018 - January 2020
- Assistant (Teaching and Administration)
- I assisted in the teaching and exercises of the linguistics courses, managed the program's website (https://www.africanstudies.ugent.be/) and co-managed the program's facebook page.
The North-Angolan Bantu language Kisikongo has a present tense (O-Rang- a; R=root) that is morphologically more marked than the future tense (O-R-a). We reconstruct how this typologically uncommon tense-marking feature came about by drawing on both historical and comparative evidence. Our diachronic corpus covers four centuries that can be subdivid...
We discuss how certain noncausal-causal verb pairs in five Bantu languages—Kagulu, Luguru, Swahili, Matengo and Herero—raise interesting questions about synchronic versus diachronic analyses of the morphological strategies employed to mark the valency alternation.
The North-Angolan Bantu language Kisikongo has a present tense (Ø-R-ang-a; R = root) that is morphologically more marked than the future tense (Ø-R-a ). We reconstruct how this typologically uncommon tense-marking feature came about by drawing on both historical and comparative evidence. Our diachronic corpus covers four centuries that can be subdi...
In this presentation, we discuss the first results on the causal-noncausal alternation in Kagulu.
We have created a sentence questionnaire based on the word list published in Haspelmath (1993) dealing with the causative-anticausative alternation. We will have sessions with language consultants discussing translational equivalents of the constructed English/Swahili sentences in the target languages.
This article aims to give a semantic study of the reflexes of one specific tense/aspect form, namely the so-called *-a-B-a construction, in a cluster of about 40-odd Kikongo language varieties spoken in a wide area around the mouth of the Congo River in Central Africa. We first present a detailed analysis of the multiple uses of these cognate const...
The main goal of our paper is to give a first, general description of middle voice in Bantu. As will be shown, this language group has a set of verbal derivational morphemes that challenges some of the concepts related to the middle domain. First of all, as of yet no description has been found of a language having more than one middle marker, yet m...
Across Bantu, several polysemic markers expressing progressive aspect and so-called predication focus have been reported (Güldemann 2003; Hyman and Watters 1984). In this article, we examine two such markers in Kikongo (Bantu, H16), i.e. the fronted-infinitive and the locative-infinitive constructions. We provide an in-depth synchronic description...
Antipassive constructions are commonly associated with languages with a predominantly ergative alignment. In this article, we show that antipassive constructions can also occur in predominantly accusative languages such as Cilubà, a Bantu language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is expressed by the verbal suffix -angan- , deriving an in...
The antipassive, an object-demoting diathesis commonly associated with ergative languages, has so far largely gone unnoticed in Bantu languages, which are of the accusative type. In this article, comparative evidence is raised to demonstrate that the antipassive is a voice construction to be reckoned with in Bantu. A robust typology of Bantu voice...
In this article we examine variation in the expression of tense and aspect (TA) in 23 modern and two historical Bantu language varieties belonging to Guthrie's B40, H10 and H30 groups in order to shed light on the internal classification of the Kikongo Language Cluster (KLC). We apply the Comparative Method to this specific set of morphological dat...
This project aims to provide the first comprehensive documentation and analysis of valency-decreasing morphology in Kagulu, Kami, Kutu, Kwere, Luguru and Zalamo, six underdescribed Tanzanian languages constituting a genealogical cluster called East Ruvu Bantu. On a broader level, the project seeks to push forward research in Bantu verbal morphosyntax and morphosemantics, and expand our understanding of Bantu valency-decreasing morphology.
As a result of a fortuitous triangle — namely existing high-level Bantu linguistic expertise, the presence of and unique input from qualified native speakers of Bantu languages, and close to two decades of work in Bantu language technology and corpus linguistics — the UGent is in a position to become a centre of excellence for Bantu Corpus Linguistics. While there is an increased awareness of the importance of Bantu language studies for linguistic theory, most of the claims made concerning typology and universals have not included Bantu languages. Bantu languages are, in fact, one of the world’s most valuable empirical resources for the study of microvariation and have the potential to make a tremendous impact on general linguistic theory. Corpus work challenges the notions of ‘native speaker’ and ‘grammaticality’ and replaces these with a more nuanced model of gradient incidence of acceptance and occurrence, leading to a paradigm shift in the empirical foundations of linguistics. Bantu Corpus Linguistics is right at the forefront of this, and will be able to bring forward this agenda.