Morphological focus marking in Gùrùntùm (West Chadic)

  • The paper presents an in-depth study of focus marking in Gùrùntùm, a West Ch adic language spoken in Bauchi Province of Northern Nigeria. Focus in Gùrùntùm is marked morphologically by means of a focus marker a, which typically precedes the focus constituent. Even though the morphological focus-marking system of Gùrùntùm allows for a lot of fine-grained distinctions in information structure (IS) in principle, the language is not entirely free of focus ambiguities that arise as the result of conflicting IS- and syntactic requirements that govern the placement of focus markers. We show that morphological focus marking with a applies across different types of focus, such as newinformation, contrastive, selective and corrective focus, and that a does not have a second function as a perfectivity marker, as is assumed in the literature. In contrast, we show at the end of the paper that a can also function as a foregrounding device at the level of discourse structure.

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Author:Katharina HartmannGND, Malte ZimmermannORCiDGND
Parent Title (German):Interdisciplinary studies on information structure / Ishihara, S., M. Schmitz, and A. Schwarz (eds.) ; Working Papers of the SFB 632, Interdisciplinary studies on information structure (ISIS) ; Vol. 5
Place of publication:Potsdam
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2006
Year of first Publication:2006
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2008/11/06
Tag:focus ambiguity; focus types; foregrounding; morphological focus marking
Page Number:45
First Page:61
Last Page:105
Source:Working Papers of the SFB 632, Interdisciplinary Studies on Information Structure (ISIS), 5, 2006. S. 61-105 ;
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht