Focus and Activation in Kankanaey

Janet L. Allen
Volume
38
Issue
1,2

Date of publication:

June and December 2007

Pages
-
116
134

This descriptive study considers the interaction of discourse purposes with the syntactic structures of Kankanaey, specifically looking at positions in the clause structure, and the type of constituent used in the clause nucleus. The correlation of the definiteness operator with focal and topical expressions is defined, as is the use of pronouns for focal reference. Preposed and postposed positions outside the clause serve to identify pronominal constituents inside the clause. Speakers of Kankanaey use these devices to manage pragmatic information flow as they introduce participants, refer to accessible entities, identify participants and their roles, and activate referents for prominence, comment, or contrast in their discourses.

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