From Pragmatics to Sentence Type: Non-topical S/A Arguments and Clause-second Particles in the Kalahari Basin

Tom Güldemann, Tom Güldemann, Lee J. Pratchett, Lee J. Pratchett, Alena Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena Witzlack-Makarevich
2018 Journal of the Linguistic Society of Japan  
Languages of the Kalahari Basin contact area share a feature whereby a special type of particle occurs in clause-second position, often after the S/A constituent. Previous accounts have used a wide range of labels such as declarative, indicative, emphatic nominative, or topic, which point to a diverse but insufficiently understood functional array of this particle type. We address the phenomenon from a discourse-oriented and comparative perspective by exploring relevant cases in languages of
more » ... in languages of three different families: Northern Khoekhoe of Khoe-Kwadi, Nǁng of Tuu, and Ju of Kx'a. We conclude that the particles are involved in a network of constructions spanning such diverse domains as nonverbal predication, focus, entity-central theticity, declarative, and possibly even differential S/A marking. The last two functions that relate to sentence types and grammatical relations, respectively, and (may) no longer display a marked information structure (IS) configuration, emerge from the overuse of thetic particle constructions and thus are the result of so-called "depragmaticization".*
doi:10.11435/gengo.154.0_53 fatcat:iyqgibzen5awphp6nfxj7bargm