- English (18) (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.
- The particles lé and lá in the grammar of Konkomba (2007)
- The paper investigates focus marking devices in the scarcely documented North-Ghanaian Gur language Konkomba. The two particles lé and lá occur under specific focus conditions and are therefore regarded as focus markers in the sparse literature. Comparing the distribution and obligatoriness of both alleged focus markers however, I show that one of the particles, lé, is better analyzed as a connective particle, i.e. as a syntactic rather than as a genuine pragmatic marker, and that comparable syntactic focus marking strategies for sentence-initial constituents are also known from related languages.
- 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.
- Principles of information packaging in Baatonum (Gur) (2009)
- This talk presents a study on information structure in the under-documented Gur language Baatonum (Bénin and Nigeria, language code bba).
- What is it about? The topic in some Ghanaian Gur grammars (2008)
- This talk deals with the pragmatic notion topic and its encoding in Buli and some related Ghanaian Gur languages and reveals that it is responsible for several intricate phenomena in the grammar of these languages.
- Focus in Gur and Kwa (2006)
- The project investigates focus phenomena in the two genetically relatedWest African Gur and Kwa language groups of the Niger-Congo phylum. Most of its members are tone languages, they are similar with respect to word order typology (all are SVO languages), but of divergent morphological type (agglutinating Gur versus isolating Kwa).
- Sentence-medial adverbials in Buli (Gur, Northern Ghana) (2006)
- Research on adverbials in sentence-medial position in the North- Ghanaian Gur language Buli suggests that the language offers two divergent slots for adverbials between subject and verb. Special attention is paid to the group of sentence-medial deictic temporal adverbials. While they have the potential to develop into tense markers, this process seems to depend on special information structural conditions.
- Focal aspects in the Lelemi verb system (2006)
- In our presentation we will outline the verb system of Lelemi and concentrate on certain “focal” aspects which are of primary interest to us. Lelemi has two TAMP paradigms: one constituting the so-called “simple tenses”, the other the so-called “relative tenses” (Allan 1973), although not every “simple tense” has a counterpart in the “relative tenses”. The simple paradigm is formed by subject prefixes (prefixed pronouns for 1st or 2nd person and noun class pronouns for 3rd persons) and the verb form whereas the relative paradigm is build up by the obligatory use of an external subject noun, an invariable verb prefix, and the verb form. While the simple paradigm is used in quite a lot of syntactic environments the relative paradigm only shows up in relative clauses with the subject being the head as well as in subject and sentence focus constructions including questions concerning the subject. We will show some interesting interactions between the grammatical expression of focus and the verb system and sketch the grammaticalisation path of the morpheme nà.