Clause-internal antitopics in Berta, a Nilo-Saharan verb-second language
This article deals with clausal constituent order and dislocation constructions in Berta, a Nilo-Saharan language with indicative clauses being verb-second. The preverbal slot is occupied by either an unmarked NP which may have any or no grammatical relation to the verb, a focus constituent, or a particular function word. This slot may be empty, but in that case it implies a zero third person referent. In addition to left-dislocated NPs, which are clause-external and which are resumed pronominally clause-internally, in some cases by zero, Berta also has a construction in which an NP is right-dislocated but remains inside the clause. This “antitopic” is marked by a preposition, and it has a clause-internal pronominal antecedent which may be zero and which is either a subject, an object or an adverbial. The clause-internal status of the antitopic is evidenced by the fact that it may be followed by certain other clause-internal constituents.
Keywords: Berta, antitopic, dislocation, verb-second, zero anaphora
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