The syntax of interjections in isiXhosa: A corpus-driven study

Alexander Andrason, Haile Matutu


This paper examines the syntactic properties of interjections in isiXhosa and their compliance with the interjectional prototype and its extra-systematicity as postulated in linguistic typology. By reviewing nearly two thousand uses of interjections in the comic genre, the authors conclude the following: in its integrity, the category of interjections is internally complex and diversified, containing members with varying degrees of canonicity and extra-systematicity. Although in various uses interjections comply with the interjectional prototype, and being extra-systematic in many others, their canonicity and extra-systematicity are significantly lower.


African languages; isiXhosa; interjections; syntax; comics; extra-systematicity

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ISSN 2224-3380 (online); 1726-541X (print)

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