News from the Field
Reference tracking in Tima and its interplay with split ergative marking
Tima, a Niger-Congo language of the Sudan, shows signs of split ergativity. If its constituent order deviates from the basic AVO order to OVA order, the postverbal agent is formally marked, unlike preverbal agents. A direct object, regardless of its position relative to the verb, is never marked. Research so far has shown that ergative constructions are triggered by certain participant constellations in discourse. In particular, when the speaker keeps a non-agentive participant, more specifically a direct object, as the centre of attention in sentence-initial position, a newly introduced agent occurs postverbally and receives ergative marking. In addition, AOV and OAV constructions are attested, both involving focus marking.
- 2.The puzzle: Variation in constituent order
- 3.Introducing a new participant at the beginning of a text
- 3.1Text opening with a focus marked constituent
- 3.2Text opening with sentences having SV/AVO constituent order
- 4.Reference continuity and switch
- 4.1Referential identity
- 4.2Referential difference
- 5.Contrastive events
- 6.Final observations
Published online: 04 February 2019
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Cited by 1 other publications
Becker, Laura & Gertrud Schneider-Blum
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 18 april 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.