Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Lee Bickmore


This thesis investigates the behaviors of the possessive in the language of Silozi. Possession words in Silozi hold layers of complexity that are not seen in the English language. Common possessive words such as "my," are influenced by an element known as noun class agreement. Silozi has a total of fourteen unique noun classes which results in multiple distinct ways to form possessive words like "ours" and "theirs." This paper presents a discussion and analysis of data collected from a language consultant fluent in the languages of English and Silozi. A strong focus is placed on the structure and behaviors of the possessive and its interactions with other lexical elements, particularly adjectives and demonstratives. Also examined is how the structure of the possessive changes when introduced to more complex syntactical environments. Since Silozi is an undercommented Bantu language, the findings presented in this thesis provides a valuable contribution to the study of possessives in Silozi while also shedding insight into some of the complex linguistic structures of the language.

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