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Argument focus in Kar (Senufo)

Title data

Dombrowsky-Hahn, Klaudia:
Argument focus in Kar (Senufo).
In: ZAS Papers in Linguistics. Vol. 46 (2006) . - pp. 83-103.
ISSN 1435-9588

Project information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Focus theories distinguish different types of focus according to the pragmatic condition or communicative point on the one side and different scopes of focus on the other side. The assertion in term focus constructions (Dik 1989), called by others argument focus constructions or identificational sentences (Lambrecht 1994), has the purpose to establish a relation between an argument and an open proposition. Kar, a north-eastern Senufo language of Burkina Faso, which has the basic word order S-Aux-O-V-other, has at its disposal different strategies to mark argument focus, among them fronting of the focused item. In many West African languages the displacement of the focused argument involves other devices, such as the use of special verb forms. In Kar fronting of a focused argument requires the use of special pronouns called background subject pronouns in the out-of-focus part of the sentence. They are used in other backgrounded contexts, too, for example in relative clauses, adverbial clauses and constituent questions. Their inconsistent use is attributed to a particular sociolinguistic situation in which the data has been collected. The use of the same focus strategies for completive and contrastive focus suggests that Kar does not distinguish pragmatic conditions on the level of sentence grammar.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Argument focus; Karaboro; Kar; Senufo; Gur languages
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions > Collaborative Research Centers, Research Unit
Research Institutions > Collaborative Research Centers, Research Unit > SFB/FK 560 Lokales Handeln in Afrika im Kontext globaler Einflüsse
Research Institutions
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 400 Language > 400 Language
400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 490 Other languages
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2017 07:25
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2021 11:21