From pragmatics to sentence type: non-topical S/A arguments and clause-second particles in the Kalahari Basin

Tom Güldemann, J Lee, Alena Witzlack-Makarevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Languages of the Kalahari Basin contact area share a feature whereby a special type of particle occurs in clause-second position, often after the S/A constituent. Previous accounts have used a wide range of labels such as declarative, indicative, emphatic nominative, or topic, which point to a diverse but
insufficiently understood functional array of this particle type. We address the
phenomenon from a discourse-oriented and comparative perspective by exploring relevant cases in languages of three different families: Northern Khoekhoe of Khoe-Kwadi, Nǁng of Tuu, and Ju of Kxʼa. We conclude that the particles are involved in a network of constructions spanning such diverse domains as nonverbal predication, focus, entity-central theticity, declarative, and possibly even differential S/A marking. The last two functions that relate to sentence types and grammatical relations, respectively, and (may) no longer display a marked information structure (IS) configuration, emerge from the overuse of thetic particle constructions and thus are the result of so-called “depragmaticization”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-84
Number of pages32
JournalGengo Kenkyu 言語研究 (Journal of the Linguistic Society of Japan)
Volume154
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'From pragmatics to sentence type: non-topical S/A arguments and clause-second particles in the Kalahari Basin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this