Project B1 (Krifka, Hartmann)

The interaction of information structure and grammar in Gur and Kwa languages


After getting an overview picture of the information structural category focus in Gur and Kwa during the first phase of our project, the project is now concerned with a total of four subject-matters, which are of special interest from a cross-linguistic and a theoretical point of view. On the one hand, we research the syntactically marked focus construction with features of narratives sentences, which are widespread in Gur and Kwa, with regard to their structure and motivation. In addition, we are concerned with verb-related kinds of focus including focussing of logical value, for which there are special means in Gur and Kwa. The third of our key activities is the identification of systematic focus-topic-interfaces, which, under specific conditions, can be observed in coincidence with both information structural roles in sentence-initial nominal constituents. Finally, the findings concerning information structure in the selected ca. 20 African languages of the Gur and Kwa language groups are evaluated typologically. The questions raised by the project serve the superordinate goal of expanding our knowledge of linguistically relevant information structural categories regarding less-known languages as well as the interaction between information structure, grammar and language type.

Website of project B1 hosted by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin  link

Full description 2nd phase SFB 632 / B1  (excerpt from the request)  pdficon small


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