The proximate demonstrative pronoun in Ndebele


  • Progress Dube Lupane State University


grammaticalisation, clitic, Type 1 demonstratives, Type 2 demonstratives and Type 3 demonstratives


The studies on proximate demonstrative pronouns in Ndebele solely focus on the morphophonology of proximate demonstrative pronouns. As a result, the morphosyntax of proximate demonstrative pronouns is not explored. The paper examines the morphology and syntax of first position demonstrative pronouns in Ndebele. Most of the data used in this study is generated by the researcher and a handful of examples are drawn from written sources. The data is analysed within the parameters of the grammaticalisation theory. The paper proposes a typology that categorises demonstrative pronouns in Ndebele based on their morpho-syntax. There are three types of proximate demonstrative pronouns in Ndebele: the autonomous demonstrative pronoun, the proclitic demonstrative pronoun and the enclitic demonstrative pronoun. Each type has an eccentric structure: Type 1 usually has a complete demonstrative pronoun consisting of the demonstrative marker and the class agreement marker except in nasal classes where at times the class agreement marker is covert, Type 2 has the commencing consonant of the marker only in nasal classes while in non-nasal we have a full form, Type 3 appears without a commencing consonant. The study concludes that the internal structure of proximate demonstrative pronouns in is determined by the typology and the syntax of given proximate pronouns. The study recommends that the teaching and the study of the internal structure of Ndebele proximate demonstrative pronouns be done in the context of proposed typologies and the syntactic distribution of proximate demonstrative pronouns.


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Author Biography

Progress Dube, Lupane State University

Dr Progress Dube is a senior lecturer in the Department of Languages at Lupane State University in Zimbabwe. He holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of KwaZulu Natal. His research interests are in morphophonology, syntax and cultural studies. Email:




How to Cite

Dube, P. (2022). The proximate demonstrative pronoun in Ndebele. JULACE: Journal of the University of Namibia Language Centre, 6(1), 63–83. Retrieved from