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Hartmann, Katharina ; Jacob, Peggy ; Zimmermann, Malte
Focus asymmetries in Bura
Kurzfassung auf Englisch(Chadic), which exhibits a number of asymmetries: Grammatical focus marking is obligatory only with focused subjects, where focus is marked by the particle án following the subject. Focused subjects remain in situ and the complement of án is a regular VP. With nonsubject foci, án appears in a cleft-structure between the fronted focus constituent and a relative clause. We present a semantically unified analysis of focus marking in Bura that treats the particle as a focusmarking copula in T that takes a property-denoting expression (the
background) and an individual-denoting expression (the focus) as arguments. The article also investigates the realization of predicate and polarity focus, which are almost never marked. The upshot of the discussion is that Bura shares many characteristic traits of focus marking with other Chadic languages, but it crucially differs in exhibiting a structural difference in the marking of focus on subjects and non-subject constituents.
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