Focus asymmetries in Bura

  • This article presents the central aspects of the focus system of Bura (Chadic), which exhibits a number of asymmetries: Grammatical focus marking is obligatory only with focused subjects, where focus is marked by the particle án following the subject. Focused subjects remain in situ and the complement of án is a regular VP. With nonsubject foci, án appears in a cleft-structure between the fronted focus constituent and a relative clause. We present a semantically unified analysis of focus marking in Bura that treats the particle as a focusmarking copula in T that takes a property-denoting expression (the background) and an individual-denoting expression (the focus) as arguments. The article also investigates the realization of predicate and polarity focus, which are almost never marked. The upshot of the discussion is that Bura shares many characteristic traits of focus marking with other Chadic languages, but it crucially differs in exhibiting a structural difference in the marking of focus on subjects and non-subject constituents.

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Author:Katharina HartmannGND, Peggy Jacob, Malte ZimmermannORCiDGND
Parent Title (German):Interdisciplinary studies on information structure / Ishihara, S., S. Petrova, and A. Schwarz (eds.) ; Working Papers of the SFB 632, Interdisciplinary studies on information structure (ISIS) ; Vol. 10
Place of publication:Potsdam
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2008/11/06
Year of first Publication:2008
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2008/11/06
Tag:Afro-Asiatic; argument/adjunct focus; cleft; focus asymmetries; focus copula; polarity focus; predicate focus
Page Number:48
First Page:45
Last Page:92
Source:Working Papers of the SFB632, Interdisciplinary Studies on Information Structure (ISIS), 10, 2008, S. 45-92 ;
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht