Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences | Department of Asian and African Studies | Regional Departments | African Studies | Events | Upcoming Events | 07.07. Digital Colloquium on African linguistics: The deposed-subject NP in Khoekhoegowab (Job)

07.07. Digital Colloquium on African linguistics: The deposed-subject NP in Khoekhoegowab (Job)

“Tracking the ‘deposed-subject’ NP in a Khoekhoegowab corpus: a morphosyntactic and functional analysis” - Talk by Sylvanus Job (HU Berlin, PhD project) given within the digital colloquium on African linguistics and languages
  • When Jul 02, 2020 from 10:00 to 11:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
  • Where via Zoom
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In canonical sentences of Khoekhoe subjects appear in a clause-initial position, as in (1). However, due to discourse-linkage and information structure (see Güldemann et al. 2019), subject nominals can be "deposed" from this unmarked position, as in (2).


(1) axa-b            ge     ǀgôa-s-a         ... go          ǂgai.
     boy-M.S.SBJ  DECL child-F.S-OBJ  …  REC.PST  call
     The boy [...] called the girl. (Haacke 2013: 328)


(2) tsî=b               ge     axa-b-a           ǀgôa-s-a          ... go           ǂgai.
     and=3M.S.SBJ DECL boy-M.S-DSBJ child-F.S-OBJ  ...  REC.PST  call
     And then he, the boy, [...] called the girl. (Haacke 2013: 329, emphasis added)


Subject "deposition" recurrently results in a structure in which the subject is expressed in the clause twice, that is, a) by an anaphoric enclitic attached to a host now occupying the clause-initial position and b) by a full nominal phrase in a clause-medial position behind clause-type markers like declarative ge, referred to traditionally as the ‘deposed-subject (DSBJ)’ (e.g., Haacke 2013). Although the literature has been engaging with this cross-linguistically perculiar ‘double’ subject expression unrelated to regular syntactic agreement, not much is known about its general distribution in language use, particularly for standard Namibian Khoekhoe. The present talk aims to make a first contribution in this regard. It presents the distribution of ‘deposed-subjects’ in a Khoekhoegowab corpus on the one hand and discusses both the formal and functional status of these nominals, especially as it relates to valence, discourse linkage and information structure, on the other hand.

 

References
Güldemann, Tom, Lee J. Pratchett, Alena Witzlack-Makarevich. 2019. From pragmatics to sentence type: nontopical S/A arguments and clause-second particles in the Kalahari Basin. Gengo Kenkyu 154, 53-84.


Haacke, Wilfrid H. G. 2013. Syntax: Namibian Khoekhoe (Nama/Damara). In Rainer Vossen (ed.), The Khoesan languages, 325–340. London: Routledge.

 

- Please contact Lee Pratchett for access information -