Focus Strategies in Limbum

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Dokumentart: ConferencePaper
Date: 2018-07-16
Language: English
Faculty: 9 Sonstige / Externe
Department: Sonstige/Externe
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
Keywords: Linguistik , Semantik , Bantu , Feldforschung
Other Keywords:
Grassfields Bantu
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Limbum exhibits two morphologically marked focus strategies involving the particles [á] and [bá]. We show that the two focus markers differ in their functional complexity. While [á] introduces an existence presupposition operating on focus alternatives, [bá] additionally encodes an exhaustivity presupposition as well as a mirative component. The latter makes it possible for Limbum to show the mirror image of what is traditionally observed as a markedness distinction between information focus and contrastive focus: focus [á] marking is accompanied by syntactic fronting while [bá] marked constituents can be left in-situ. Limbum, furthermore, shows that focus by itself does not presuppose existence, since this restriction is only present when accompanied by the particle [á], which must be left out if the context does not satisfy this presupposition.

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