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Title: The Clause Structure of Wolof
Subtitle: Insights into the Left Periphery
Written By: Harold Torrence
Series Title: Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 198

This volume investigates the clausal syntax of Wolof, an understudied Atlantic language of Senegal. The goals of the work are descriptive, analytical, and comparative, with a focus on the structure of the left periphery and left peripheral phenomena. The book includes detailed examination of the morpho‑syntax of wh‑questions, successive cyclicity, subject marking, relative clauses, topic/focus articulation, and complementizer agreement. Novel data from Wolof is used to evaluate and extend theoretical proposals concerning the structure of the Complementizer Phrase (CP) and Tense Phrase (TP). It is argued that Wolof provides evidence for the promotion analysis of relative clauses, an “exploded” CP and TP, and for analyses that treat relative clauses as composed of a determiner with a CP complement. It is further argued that Wolof has a set of silent wh‑expressions and these are compared to superficially similar constructions in colloquial German, Bavarian, Dutch, and Norwegian. The book also presents a comparison of complementizer agreement across a number of related and unrelated languages. Data from Indo‑European (Germanic varieties, French, Irish), Niger‑Congo (Atlantic, Bantu, Gur), and Semitic (Arabic) languages put the Wolof phenomena in a larger typological context by showing the range of variation in complementizer agreement systems.

Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Subject Language(s): Wolof
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9789027255815
Prices: U.S. $ 149.00
U.K. £ 83.00
Europe EURO 104.94
Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9789027273017
Prices: U.S. $ 149.00
U.K. £ 83.00
Europe EURO 99.00