This book demonstrates a feature-checking approach to sentence structure and language typology within the framework of Chomsky's Minimalist Program. The study is both data oriented and theoretical. The analysis is based on data from Toposa, an under-documented Eastern Nilotic language spoken in Southern Sudan. Toposa is highly inflectional and derivational with a basic VSO word order. This work suggests that sentence structure is determined by multiple feature-checking processes, driven by the interaction of morphology, syntax, and discourse features such as antecedent relationships and focus. In Toposa, these interrelationships explain the occurrence or absence of the grammatical subject, direct object, and applied objects and result in an ergative VS/VO word order in discourse, where the preferred structure is to have only one argument after the verb. The complex relationships between morphology, syntax, and discourse are demonstrated through the passive, the reflexive, the subject prefixes in the verb, the causative, and the applicative. This book will be a valuable resource for intermediate and advanced level students of syntactic theory. It should also be helpful in the further study of VSO languages and research on discourse within the framework of the Minimalist Program. Helga Schroder received her Ph.D in Linguistics in 2002 from the University of Nairobi where she is currently a lecturer. She and her husband, Martin Schroder, did extensive field research on Toposa from 1982 until 2001."
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Format: Paperback / softback
(229mm x 152mm x 11mm)
Sil International, Global Publishing
Publisher: Sil International, Global Publishing
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