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Focus and alternative sensitivity in Ngamo (West-Chadic)

Fokus und Alternativensensitivität in Ngamo (Westtschadisch)

  • The main research question of this thesis concerns the relation between focus interpretation, focus realization, and association with focus in the West Chadic language Ngamo. Concerning the relation between focus realization and interpretation, this thesis contributes to the question, cross-linguistically, what factors influence a marked realization of the focus/background distinction. There is background-marking rather than focus-marking in Ngamo, and the background marker is related to the definite determiner in the language. Using original fieldwork data as a basis, a formal semantic analysis of the background marker as a definite determiner of situations is proposed. Concerning the relation between focus and association with focus, the thesis adds to the growing body of crosslinguistic evidence that not all so-called focus-sensitive operators always associate with focus. The thesis shows that while the exclusive particle yak('i) (= "only") in Ngamo conventionally associates with focus, the particles har('i) (= "even, as farThe main research question of this thesis concerns the relation between focus interpretation, focus realization, and association with focus in the West Chadic language Ngamo. Concerning the relation between focus realization and interpretation, this thesis contributes to the question, cross-linguistically, what factors influence a marked realization of the focus/background distinction. There is background-marking rather than focus-marking in Ngamo, and the background marker is related to the definite determiner in the language. Using original fieldwork data as a basis, a formal semantic analysis of the background marker as a definite determiner of situations is proposed. Concerning the relation between focus and association with focus, the thesis adds to the growing body of crosslinguistic evidence that not all so-called focus-sensitive operators always associate with focus. The thesis shows that while the exclusive particle yak('i) (= "only") in Ngamo conventionally associates with focus, the particles har('i) (= "even, as far as, until, already"), and ke('e) (= "also, and") do not. The thesis provides an analysis of these phenomena in a situation semantic framework.show moreshow less
  • Diese Arbeit untersucht die Verbindung zwischen Fokusinterpretation, Fokusrealisierung und Assoziation mit Fokus in der westtschadischen Sprache Ngamo. Was den Zusammenhang zwischen Fokusinterpretation und -realisierung angeht, leistet diese Arbeit einen Beitrag zu der Frage, welche Faktoren in verschiedenen Sprachen für markierte Realisierung von Fokus zuständig sind. Ngamo ist in diesem Zusammenhang besonders interessant, da es Hintergrundierung statt Fokus markiert (Schuh, 2005). Was den Zusammenhang zwischen Fokus und Assoziation mit Fokus angeht, liefert die Arbeit weitere Evidenz dafür, dass sogenannte fokussensitive Partikeln nicht in allen Sprachen obligatorisch mit Fokus assoziieren müssen. Sie zeigt dass obwohl die Partikel yak'i ("nur") in Ngamo konventionell mit Fokus assoziiert, die Partikeln har('i) (= "sogar, bis, schon") und ke('e) (= "auch, und") dies nicht tun. Die Arbeit analysiert diese Phänomene mit Hilfe eines situationssemantischen Ansatzes.

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Author:Mira GrubicGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-81666
Advisor:Malte Zimmermann
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language:English
Year of Completion:2015
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Granting Institution:Universität Potsdam
Date of final exam:2015/01/10
Release Date:2015/10/13
Tag:Fokus; Fokussensitivität; Situationssemantik; afrikanische Sprachen; formale Semantik
African languages; definiteness; focus; focus-sensitivity; formal semantics; situation semantics
RVK - Regensburg Classification:EP 13290
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerziell, Keine Bearbeitung 4.0 International