- Article (8) (remove)
- Out-of-focus encoding in Gur and Kwa (2005)
- This paper investigates the structural properties of morphosyntactically marked focus constructions, focussing on the often neglected non-focal sentence part in African tone languages. Based on new empirical evidence from five Gur and Kwa languages, we claim that these focus expressions have to be analysed as biclausal constructions even though they do not represent clefts containing restrictive relative clauses. First, we relativize the partly overgeneralized assumptions about structural correspondences between the out-of-focus part and relative clauses, and second, we show that our data do in fact support the hypothesis of a clause coordinating pattern as present in clause sequences in narration. It is argued that we deal with a non-accidental, systematic feature and that grammaticalization may conceal such basic narrative structures.
- Information structure (2007)
- The guidelines for Information Structure include instructions for the annotation of Information Status (or ‘givenness’), Topic, and Focus, building upon a basic syntactic annotation of nominal phrases and sentences. A procedure for the annotation of these features is proposed.
- Focus markers that link topic and comment (2009)
- This talk deals with the interdependence between the pragmatic categories topic and focus as displayed by certain alleged focus marking particles of some West African languages.
- Tonal focus reflections in Buli and some Gur relatives (2009)
- Buli is an Oti-Volta tone language spoken in Northern Ghana. This paper outlines the basic features of its tonal system and explores whether and in which way pitch respectively phonemic tone is approached as a means to indicate the pragmatic category of focus. Pursued are cases with focus-related surface tone changes as well as cases where pitch could help to disambiguate between broad and narrow foci. It is argued that focus is not consistently encoded by pitch or tone. Parallel findings for the closely related languages Kopen o (phonetic symbol)nni and Dagbani suggest that the apparent lack of significant prosodic focus signals in Buli might pertain to a larger group of tonal languages of the Gur family.
- How many focus markers are there in Konkomba? (2009)
- This article discusses the divergent status of the two particles lé and lá in the grammar of Konkomba, a Gur language (Niger-Congo) of the Gurma subgroup. While previous studies claim that both particles are focus markers, this author argues that only the particle lá should be analyzed as a pure pragmatic device. Distributional studies suggest that the use of particle lé, on the other hand, is only required under specific focus conditions, and primarily represents a syntactic device.
- Informationsstruktur : die sprachlichen Mittel der Gliederung von Äußerung, Satz und Text (2008)
- Welchen Bedingungen unterliegt menschliche Kommunikation? Welche sprachlichen Mittel verwendet ein Sprecher um sicherzustellen, dass sein Zuhörer tatsächlich das versteht, was er kommunizieren möchte? Wie also »verpacken« wir wichtige und weniger wichtige Informationen im alltäglichen Diskurs? Diesen und anderen Fragen geht der SFB 632 »Informationsstruktur«, ein gemeinsames Forschungsunternehmen von Linguisten verschiedener Teildisziplinen der Universität Potsdam und der Humboldt-Universität, nach.
- Preverbal negative markers in Buli (1999)
- This article deals with some aspects of negation in Buli, a Gur language spoken by the Bulsa people in Northern Ghana.
- Low tone spreading in Buli (2003)
- In Buli, tone indicates lexical information as well as grammatical information. The changing of tone patterns regularly observed on lexemes is covered best by an autosegmental approach with autonomous tonal and segmental tiers. It reveals considerable deviations between underlying and surfacing tones at several morpho- yntactic points. Realization of tone is sometimes oppressed or delayed. Cause for such disturbances is in all cases a low tone which spreads to the right and affects following high tones with different results. The aim of this paper is to show how L spreading acts and how it is integrated in the system of tonal contrast.