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Title: Word Order and Information Structure in Makhuwa-Enahara
Written By: Jenneke van der Wal
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series

This thesis investigates the grammar of Makhuwa-Enahara, a Bantu language
spoken in the north of Mozambique. The information structure is an
influential factor in this language, determining the word order and the use
of special conjugations known as conjoint and disjoint verb forms. The
thesis consists of two parts. The first part is a grammatical description
of the language, covering the basic properties in the phonology, prosody
and morphology of the nominal and verbal domain, as well as an overview of
the conjugational system. The chapter also examines some syntactic issues,
such as relativisation and non-verbal predication.

The second part is concerned with the question how syntax and information
structure interact in Makhuwa-Enahara. The elements in a sentence are
positioned before or after the verb on the basis of their information
structure. Elements in the pre-verbal domain are interpreted as more
accessible, functioning as topics. The disjoint verb and elements in the
post-verbal domain form the comment. The element immediately following the
conjoint verb form is interpreted not just as new information, but as
exclusive, meaning that the proposition holds for that referent and not for
(some) other referents. These data can be accounted for if insights from
syntax and information structure are combined. Two such approaches are
discussed: a cartographic model and an interface model. Two interface rules
are proposed to account for the interpretation of word order and the
conjoint and disjoint verb forms in Makhuwa-Enahara.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Makhuwa
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328902