OLAC Record

Title:Focus & theicity
A Pan-Dialectal Documentation of Taa (formerly: Documentation of Western !Xoon)
Contributor (author):Tom Güldemann
Description:"The relation between focus and theicity in the Tuu family" published in Fiedler, I. & A. Schwarz: Information Structure in African Languages
A Pan-Dialectal Documentation of Taa The project is based at the Linguistics Department of the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Head of Department: Prof. Dr. B. Comrie. Researchers Linguistics: Tom Güldemann, Roland Kießling, Christfried Naumann Researcher Anthropology: Gertrud Boden
Abstract: The paper presents first results of the documentation of Tuu languages regarding information structure, based on the analysis of coherent texts, partly upplemented by elicitated utterances. Unmarked clauses display a fairly strict verb-medial structure; the clause-initial subject can be characterized as a conflation of topic function and agent rolecomplex and the material after it contains the assertive focus. Pragmatically more marked clauses display an initial nominal which is morphosyntactically set off from the rest of the sentence. These cleft-like constructions are typical for utterances involving contrastively focused items as well as constituent question words. At least in some languages, these structures are also associated with another pragmatic function, namely the expression of so-called entity-central thetic statements in the sense of Sasse (1987). This polyfunctionality of cleft-like sentences is motivated, because both of these functions need to expose a nominal: while it must be more salient than the predicate in the case of term focus, it must be “up-graded” from the status of topical predication base in the case of thetic utterances.
Publisher:Tom Güldemann, Roland Kießling, Gertrud Boden, Christfried Naumann
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Linguistics
Subject:Secondary document
English language
Subject (ISO639):eng


Archive:  The Language Archive at the MPI for Psycholinguistics
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:www.mpi.nl:1839_00-0000-0000-000D-6F33-C
DateStamp:  2017-02-14
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Citation: Tom Güldemann. 2007-04-25. Tom Güldemann, Roland Kießling, Gertrud Boden, Christfried Naumann.
Terms: area_Europe country_GB iso639_eng

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Country: United Kingdom
Area: Europe

Up-to-date as of: Wed Apr 12 11:39:30 EDT 2017