Chapter published in:Information Structure in Lesser-described Languages: Studies in prosody and syntax
Edited by Evangelia Adamou, Katharina Haude and Martine Vanhove
[Studies in Language Companion Series 199] 2018
► pp. 245–264
Subjects and focus in clefts
The case of Tilapa Otomi
This paper is an exploration of the syntax-pragmatics interface in the pseudo-clefts of Tilapa Otomi, an Oto-Manguean language of Mexico. The goal of this paper is to show that the focus phrase in the clefts of Tilapa Otomi is the subject of the cleft construction, which is entirely based on the copular construction. This claim has a theoretical interest because the alignment of focus and subject has been tainted as problematic in certain approaches to clefts that want the subject to be the topic. The subject in clefts in Tilapa Otomi conveys contrastive focus, but clefts in Tilapa Otomi may also be used as thetic constructions to express broad focus, in which case it is the whole clause that is in focus.
Published online: 02 August 2018
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Delin, Judy & Oberlander, Jon
den Dikken, Marcel
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Faarlund, Jan Terje
Foley, William A. & Van Valin Jr., Robert D.
Gundel, Jeanette K.
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