Information Structure in Oromo

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This dissertation aims at describing and analyzing the information structure of Oromo. It focuses on how information is structured in sentential structures. The descriptive approach has been used to attain the objective of the study. The study is framed based on the theory of FSP. The data were collected from the native speakers via recording. The reliability of the data has been verified introspectively, since the researcher is a native speaker of the dialect. The data were organized, transcribed, glossed and translated. Among information structural divisions, the study was mainly limited to the description of topic-comment, given-new, background–focus information. Oromo has information status markers that show sentence topic. It marks sentence topic via converse terms and non-canonical syntax. Because the effects of IS can extend to non-canonical syntax to describe a single event in various ways. Previously known information is also encoded linguistically by definite referring expressions. Thus, IS helps the addressor to choose nouns, pronouns and other referring expressions based on the context. Besides definite expressions, linguistic and situational contexts help to encode given information. Focused information is marked by phonological, morphological, lexical or syntactic means. Focus is evident in the prosody of speech via high pitch and the effects of focus are also visible in the use of focus particles. Oromo alters its form via word order, referential form, morphological marking and prosody based on the information to be conveyed. The IS of copula, negative, passive and interrogative clauses is also described. Especially, pragmatically marked copula clauses convey various focus types based on the communicative function of focus because word order change reflects information packaging. Passivization is another pragmatically marked structure that encodes IS by demoting and promoting verb arguments. Interrogative clauses are used to bring missing information into the discourse. However, negative clauses do not bring new information into the discourse; rather they deny what has been previously stated.



It focuses on how information is structured in sentential structures