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The morphosyntax of adverbs in Shupamem


par Abass NGOUNGOUO YIAGNIGNI
Université de Yaoundé 1 - Master en Linguistique Générale 2016
  

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2.9.1. Higher class adverbs

The higher class adverbs that I identified are the speech act adverbs «m?Ì ndaì ?gam»(honestly), «pékériì» (honestly) and the epistemic I adverb «m?ì? mb?ì» (maybe).

2.9.1.1. Speech act adverbs

Consider the data in (24) and (25) below:

(24) Focalization

a) m?Ì ndaì ?gam m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ

Honestly child ate rice

«Honestly, the child ate rice»

b) * aì m?Ì ndaì ?gam m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ

Cl. honestly child ate rice

Intended: «HONESTLY, the child ate rice»

c) m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ poì m?Ì ndaì ?gam

child ate rice Foc. Honestly

«HONESTLY, the child ate rice»

(25) Topicalization

a) m?Ì ndaì ?gam m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ

Honestly child ate rice

«Honestly, the child ate rice»

b) m?Ì ndaì ?gam m?^, m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ

Honestly, Top child ate rice

«Honestly, the child ate rice»

The data in (24.b) shows that speech act adverbs cannot be focalized through the use of the cleft copula «». This ungrammaticality can be justified by the fact that focalization with the cleft copula «» requires movement to the left periphery. Given that speech act adverbs are base-generatedin the CP domain, there cannot be another movement. For instance, its focalization can only be with the focus marker «poì», as shown in (24.c) above. As far as (25.b) is concerned, it shows that speech act adverbs can be topicalized with the use of the topic marker «n?ì».

2.9.1.2. Epistemic I adverb

The epistemic I adverb «m?ì? mb?ì» (maybe) can be focalized neither with «» nor with «poì». Consider the data in (26) below:

(26) Focalization

a) m?ì? mb?ì m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ

Maybe child ate rice

«Maybe the child ate rice»

b) *aì m?ì? mb?ì m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ

Cl. Maybe child ate rice

Intended: «MAYBE the child ate rice»

c) *m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ poì m?ì? mb?ì

child ate rice Foc. Maybe

Intended: «MAYBE the child ate rice»

As far as topicalization is concerned, the epistemic I adverb admits the topic morpheme «n?Ì» followed by a pause, as shown in (27) below:

(27) Topicalization

a) m?ì? mb?ì m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ

Maybe child ate rice

«Maybe the child ate rice»

b) m?ì? mb?ì-?Ì, m?ìn j?Ì maÌloÌriÌ

Maybe-Top child ate rice

«Maybe, the child ate rice»

In (26.b), the epistemic I adverb is focalized through the focus maker «poì», while in (26.c), it has been focalized through the cleft construction. As previously said, epistemic I adverb cannot be focalized, reason why those sentences are ungrammatical. As for (27), it shows that epistemic I adverb can be topicalized through the topic marker «n?Ì». The latter has lost its /n/ in order to ease pronunciation.

In brief, the data in (24), (25), (26) and (27) above show that higher class adverbs in Shupamem allow topicalization. In contrast, the epistemic I adverb does not allow focalization, while the speech act adverbs allows only focalization with «poì».

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