A Descriptive Syntax of Naayì

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2020-05, 2020-05

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Finally, the morphosyntax of focus and topic, which are the pragmatically marked structures, have been analyzed in the thesis. Formative and syntactic strategies have been employed to analyze the focused and topical constituents (structures) in Naayì. Based on formative (morphological) strategies, three types of focus markers are used in Naayì. These are the additive focus markers -ó and ké, and the resultative/consecutive focus particle dò. The functional difference between the two additive focus markers -ó and ké is that the morpheme -ó is used to make a single constituent to which it is attached in focus; whereas, the independent particle ké is used to introduce a clause which provides new information. The resultative/ consecutive focus particle dò is a clausal focus marker, like the focus particle ké. Unlike in focus marking, there are no special affixes or particles to mark topic in Naayì. Topic in a clause is marked in the language with a constituent that has identifiable and background information. Topical constituents can be identified in the form of definite NPs, pronouns, or a gap relativized NP in RCLs. Based on syntactic strategies, focus and topics have been analyzed mainly with extra-core slots, detached positions and cleft construction. Core slots mean the positions in the basic word order [S-O-V] of the language; and extra-core slots are the special positions outside the core slots, either the pre-core slot or the post-core slot, which are under the scope of a give clause. Based on this, in Naayì, only pre-core slot is used to express a focused constituent in a clause. Detached positions are the positions further far from the core slots than extra-core slots. Detached positions are represented as outside of a clause in the left-detached position and/or in the right-detached position. In Naayì, topical constituents can occur in either in the 310 left-detached position or in the right-detached position. Lastly, cleft construction is the other syntactic strategy to identify a focused structure in Naayì. Cleft construction is used in the language to place an NP constituent unambiguously in narrow focus that is often used to provide the identity of a referent. Naayì allows cleft construction to the left of RCLs.



Naayì people and their language