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Title: Cleft sentences in Hausa? : a syntactic study of focus
Author: McConvell, Patrick
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1973
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This thesis sets out to analyse a type of emphatic sentence in Hausa using the theory of transformational-generative grammar. These sentences, which are called focus-emphatic here, are, it is argued, derived by the movement of a constituent into a left-hand position. In such sentences the moved constituent has the thematic property focus. Part I discusses the nature of focus-emphasis and the types of analysis which have been proposed to account for it in Hausa, and in English and certain other languages. In Part II a particular type of analysis in which the focus emphatic sentence is regarded as a type of cleft sentence, and derived from a pseudocleft deep structure, is tested for Hausa and rejected on the basis of the patterns of agreement, of pronominalization and of the behaviour of relative clauses. In Part III two alternative analyses in which the non-emphatic sentence forms part of the deep structure of focus-emphatic sentences are compared: focus-fronting, by which the focus constituent is simply moved to the left, and focus-raising which retains the view that such sentences in Hausa are a type of cleft sentence derived from a pseudo-cleft structure, but proposes in addition a more remote deep structure. It is concluded that focus-raising is preferable, and as a result that some semantic interpretation rules must apply at intermediate as well as deep structure. In the Appendices the rules necessary for this derivation are listed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral