Syntacticized topics in Kurmuk
A ternary voice-like system in Nilotic
This article argues that Kurmuk, a little-described Western Nilotic language, is characterized by a syntacticized topic whose grammatical relation is variable. In this language, declarative clauses have as topic an obligatory preverbal NP which is either a subject, an object, or an adjunct. The grammatical relation of the topic is expressed by a voice-like inflection of the verb, called orientation here. While subject-orientation is morphologically unmarked, object-oriented and adjunct-oriented verbs are marked by a subject suffix or by a suffix indicating that the topic is not subject, and adjunct-orientation differs from object-orientation by a marked tone pattern. Topic choice largely reflects information structure by indicating topic continuity. The topic also plays a crucial role in relative clauses and in clauses with contrastive constituent focus, in that objects and adjuncts can only be relativized or contrastively focalized if they are coded as topics. Moreover, some types of adverbial clauses require adjunct-orientation.
Published online: 29 October 2015
Andrews, Avery D
Bennett, Patrick R
Dimmendaal, Gerrit J
2009 Datives in Nilotic in a typological perspective. Afrikanistik-Aegyptologie-Online, http://www.afrikanistik-aegyptologie-online.de/archiv/2009/2355/ (October 27, 2014).
Foley, William A. & Robert D. Van Valin, Jr
Greenberg, Joseph H
Hyman, Larry M. & John Robert Watters
Tucker, A.N. & J. Tompo Ole Mpaayei
Cited by 2 other publications
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.