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Encoding Focus in Verbal Morphology : Predication Focus and the "Kanuri Focus Shift"

Title data

Löhr, Doris ; Wolff, H. Ekkehard:
Encoding Focus in Verbal Morphology : Predication Focus and the "Kanuri Focus Shift".
In: Fiedler, Ines ; Schwarz, Anne (ed.): Papers on Information Structure in African Languages. - Berlin : ZAS , 2006 . - pp. 185-209 . - (ZAS Papers in Linguistics ; 46 )

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Focus on verbal operators such as aspect or tense (“predication focus”, lucidly described by Hyman & Watters (1984) under the label “auxiliary focus”) has been
noticed to exist in African languages of Afroasiatic and Niger-Congo affiliation, but not so far in Saharan. The Saharan language Kanuri is assumed to have
substantially reorganized its TAM system, particularly in the perfective aspect domain (Cyffer [2006] dates major changes between the years 1820 and 1900).
The paper discusses, for the first time in Kanuri scholarship, the existence of a neat subsystem of predication focus marking by suffix in the perfective aspect
which is made up of a total of six conjugational paradigms that uniformly encode predication focus by suffix {-ò}. Kanuri dialects differ in strategies and scope of focus marking encoded in verb morphology. In the light of data from the Yerwa (Nigeria) and Manga (Niger) dialects the paper discusses some “anomalies” with
regard to general focus theory which we account for by describing the “Kanuri Focus Shift” as a diachronic process which is responsible for leftward displacement of scope of focus.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a book
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Central research institutes > Institute of African Studies - IAS > Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies - BAAAS
Research Institutions > Central research institutes
Research Institutions > Central research institutes > Institute of African Studies - IAS
Research Institutions > Research Units > Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies
Research Institutions > Research Units
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 400 Language
400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 490 Other languages
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 07:39
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2024 09:51
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/39118