Narrative focus strategies in Gur and Kwa

Schwarz, Anne, and Fiedler, Ines (2007) Narrative focus strategies in Gur and Kwa. In: Aboh, Enoch Oladé, Hartmann, Katharina , and Zimmermann, Malte , (eds.) Focus Strategies in African Languages: the interaction of focus and grammar in Niger-Congo and Afro-Asiatic. Trends in Linguistics: studies and monographs, 191 . Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, Germany, pp. 267-286.

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Abstract

The paper considers certain morphosyntactically marked focus constructions in five Ghanaian languages which display special structural features in the out-of-focus part of the sentence compared to the canonical clause. Such a phenomenon is widespread in West African languages, and these non-canonical structures are often labeled "relative" because they seem to be typical for relative clauses. However, while the parallels with relative clauses are never complete in the languages studied, there is a constant structural isomorphism with clauses encoding sequential events in narration. Consequently, it is suggested that these focus constructions should be analyzed as extra-clausal structures in which the non-focal information is presented as a narrative clause.

Item ID: 17830
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: morphosyntax; information structure; Gur languages; Kwa languages; discourse; typology
ISBN: 978-3-11-019593-4
ISSN: 1861-4302
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 05:36
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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