Focus and copular constructions in Hausa.
This thesis examines the syntax of Focus constructions in Rausa within a Principles and
ParameterslMinimalist framework. An analysis is presented to account for the properties
of Focus-fronting constructions in Rausa as well as of 'copular' constructions which are
also shown to have Focus properties. It is argued that the 'copula' found in both Focusfronting
and 'copular' constructions in Rausa is not a verbal or inflectional element as
argued by McConvell (1973) and Tuller (1986a) respectively, but instead the spellout of
a functional category F(ocus) in the sense of Brody (1990).
Chapter 1 presents an introduction to the main syntactic characteristics of Rausa,
including word order, inflectional properties and case, and data surrounding Focus and
related constructions. Chapter 2 presents a general introduction to the phenomenon of
Focus, including typological and comparative discussion to show the various crosslinguistic
syntactic manifestations of Focus. The theoretical framework is established and
and pre-Minimalist literature surrounding Focus is reviewed.
Chapter 3 presents the analysis, which argues for a Focus Phrase (FP) structure for
Focus-fronting constructions in Rausa and discusses the advantages ofthis approach on
the basis of empirical and theoretical considerations. In chapter 4 the analysis is extended
to 'copular' constructions in Rausa; these apparently unrelated constructions are shown
to have Focus properties and the FP analysis is argued to account for this fact in a
straightforward and principled manner.
Chapter 5 considers the FP analysis from a cross-linguistic perspective to see how it
might account for Focus and copular constructions in a range of languages related to
Rausa, and it is shown that although some languages present challenging cases for an FP
analysis, there is considerable support for an approach of this nature.