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Book Chapter

Information packaging constructions in Kwa: Micro-variation and typology

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Ameka, F. K. (2010). Information packaging constructions in Kwa: Micro-variation and typology. In E. O. Aboh, & J. Essegbey (Eds.), Topics in Kwa syntax (pp. 141-176). Dordrecht: Springer.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-522B-D
Kwa languages such as Akye, Akan, Ewe, Ga, Likpe, Yoruba etc. are not prototypically “topic-prominent” like Chinese nor “focus-prominent” like Somali, yet they have dedicated structural positions in the clause, as well as morphological markers for signalling the information status of the component parts of information units. They could thus be seen as “discourse configurational languages” (Kiss 1995). In this chapter, I first argue for distinct positions in the left periphery of the clause in these languages for scene-setting topics, contrastive topics and focus. I then describe the morpho-syntactic properties of various information packaging constructions and the variations that we find across the languages in this domain.