The Morphology Of The Zulu Locative


  • I would like to thank Sandra Linton for help with editing the manuscript, and three anonymous reviewers for Transactions of the Philological Society, who made many helpful comments on how the manuscript could be improved. All remaining errors and deficiencies are of course my own.


The Zulu locative has traditionally been classed as an adverb, or as a nominal in certain contexts. In other Bantu languages, like Swahili, the locative is treated as a form of noun. This paper presents a description of the locative in terms of the theory of Distributed Morphology. It proposes that the Zulu locative can best be viewed as a case of the nominal. The paper also examines two phonological alternations associated with the locative, namely vowel lowering and palatalization. Traditionally, these have been seen as phonologically conditioned, but it is argued that they are both morphologically conditioned.