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Raciolinguistics

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Sociolinguistics from the Periphery

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Academic Paper


Title: The Syntax of Postpositional Phrases in Wan, an "SOVX" Language
Paper URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_articles.cgi?bookid=SL%2033%3A4&artid=6128708
Author: Tatiana Nikitina
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.projectwan.org/nikitina
Institution: Freie Universität Berlin
Linguistic Field: Syntax; Typology
Subject Language: Wan
Abstract: In the study of word order typology, the SOVX word order pattern of Mande is often viewed as exceptional and explained diachronically as a “type in transition”. This paper argues against that view based on analysis of the sentence structure of Wan (Southeastern Mande). I show that the SOVX word order of Wan is a consequence of an unusual syntactic behavior of postpositional arguments, which do not form a syntactic constituent with their verb but instead appear in a fixed position outside of the VP. The analysis has typological implications, suggesting that the SOVX pattern of this kind should be treated separately from types where PP arguments are syntactically dependent on their verb.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_articles.cgi?bookid=SL%2033%3A4&artid=6128708
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