The Expression of Information Structure

A documentation of its diversity across Africa

| Humboldt University, Berlin
| Humboldt University, Berlin & James Cook University, Cairns
ISBN 9789027206725 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027288424 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
This book analyzes the different patterns found across subsaharan Africa to express information structure. Based on languages from all four African language phyla, it documents the great diversity of linguistic means used to encode information-structural phenomena and is therefore highly relevant for some of the most pertinent questions in modern linguistic theory. The special contribution of this volume is the perspective on a variety of information-structurally related phenomena which go far beyond classical notions such as focus and topic. Detailed investigations are dedicated to so far less discussed focal subcategories, like focus on verbal operators or the thetic-categorical distinction. Finally, the information-structural configuration of unmarked, canonical sentence structures is recognized. The papers provide evidence that the formal means to encode information-structural categories range from means such as morphological markers or syntactic operations, famous in linguistics, to less well-known strategies, such as defocalization rather than focalization.
[Typological Studies in Language, 91]  2010.  xii, 383 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Ines Fiedler and Anne Schwarz
Information structure marking in Sandawe texts
Helen Eaton
Topic and focus fields in Naki
Jeff Good
The relation between focus and theticity in the Tuu family
Tom Güldemann
Focus marking in Aghem: Syntax or semantics?
Larry M. Hyman
On the obligatoriness of focus marking: Evidence from Tar B’arma
Peggy Jacob
Focalisation and defocalisation in Isu
Roland Kießling
Discourse function of inverted passives in Makua-Marevone narratives
Oliver Kröger
Topic-focus articulation in Taqbaylit and Tashelhit Berber
Amina Mettouchi and Axel Fleisch
Focus in Atlantic languages
Stéphane Robert
Topic and focus construction asymmetry
Ronald P. Schaefer and Francis O. Egbokhare
Verb-and-predication focus markers in Gur
Anne Schwarz
Why contrast matters: Information structure in Gawwada (East Cushitic)
Mauro Tosco
Focus and the Ejagham verb system
John R. Watters
Language index
Subject index
“Through its presentation of studies of information structure in languages from all of the major indigenous language phyla of Africa this volume makes a significant contribution to this increasingly important area of linguistic theory and analysis. Of particular interest are the investigations of special verb-focus marking in several languages, a phenomenon to which insufficient attention has been paid in the past. This volume is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the typological variation in information structure across languages.”
Cited by

Cited by 6 other publications

Fernandez-Vest, M.M.Jocelyne & Helle Metslang
2017. Perspectives on questions, answers, and information structuring: An introduction . STUF - Language Typology and Universals 70:3  pp. 385 ff. Crossref logo
Güldemann, Tom
2016. Maximal backgrounding = focus without (necessary) focus encoding. Studies in Language 40:3  pp. 551 ff. Crossref logo
Güldemann, Tom, Sabine Zerbian & Malte Zimmermann
2015. Variation in Information Structure with Special Reference to Africa. Annual Review of Linguistics 1:1  pp. 155 ff. Crossref logo
Mihas, Elena
2016. Contrastive focus-marking and nominalization in Northern Kampa (Arawak) of Peru. Studies in Language 40:2  pp. 414 ff. Crossref logo
H. Ekkehard Wolff
2019.  In A History of African Linguistics, Crossref logo
H. Ekkehard Wolff
2019.  In The Cambridge Handbook of African Linguistics, Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 17 november 2021. 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.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFK – Grammar, syntax
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2009050676 | Marc record