Relative Constructions in Nyiha: An Investigation of the Syntax, Semantics and Activation Status of Information in Relative Constructions in Nyiha, a Bantu Language of Southwestern Tanzania (M23)

Statement of Responsibility:
Karels, Jacob
Authors:
Date:
2014
Abstract:
This paper deals with relative constructions in Nyiha, a Bantu language of southwestern Tanzania (M23). It is divided into two parts: first, the syntax and semantics of relativization in Nyiha is discussed. The syntactic and functional possibilities and constraints in the formation of RCs are explored. Some complex constructions are analyzed and special attention is given to the difference between restrictive and nonrestrictive relative clauses and to adverbial relative clauses. Second, the activation status of information in relative constructions in eight Nyiha stories is analyzed. Three observations, obtained from the relevant literature, are examined. The first observation is that restrictive relative clauses usually do not contain brand-new information. This observation is shown to be true for Nyiha. The second observation is that, if a restrictive relative clause does contain brand-new information, the head of the relative clause is established information. This is shown to be not true for Nyiha. In the text corpus, when a restrictive relative clause conveys brand-new information, the head of the relative construction is often brand new as well. The third observation examined is that non-restrictive relative clauses usually contain brand-new information. This observation is shown to be true for Nyiha. Finally, the activation status of information in two types of adverbial relative clauses and their position with respect to the main clause is examined. The paper concludes with some recommendations for (Bible) translation and suggestions for further research.
Extent:
52 pages
Table of Contents:
Abstract
Abbreviations
1 Introduction
1.1 Aim of this paper
1.2 Data
1.3 The Nyiha language
1.4 Previous research
2 Syntax and semantics of the relative construction in Nyiha
2.1 Theoretical framework
2.2 The canonical relative construction in Nyiha
2.2.1 The head of a relative construction
2.2.2 The relative clause (RC)
2.3 Complex constructions and special types of relative constructions
2.3.1 Stacking and embedding
2.3.2 Cleft and pseudo-cleft constructions
2.4 Restrictive and non-restrictive RCs
2.5 More on adverbial RCs
2.5.1 Clauses introduced by lwê
2.5.2 Clauses introduced by shê
2.5.3 Clauses introduced by vwê
2.5.4 Clauses introduced by mwê
3 The activation status of information in Nyiha relative constructions
3.1 Theoretical framework
3.2 The activation status of information in Nyiha relative constructions
3.2.1 Non-restrictive relative constructions
3.2.2 Restrictive relative constructions
3.3 The activation status of information in adverbial RCs
3.3.1 Clauses introduced by lwê
3.3.2 Clauses introduced by mwê
4. Conclusion, recommendations and suggestions for further research
4.1 The syntax and semantics of relativization in Nyiha
4.2 Differences in the activation status of information in relative constructions
4.3 Recommendations for (Bible) translation
4.4 Suggestions for further research
References
Subject:
Syntax
Semantics
restrictive relative clauses
relative constructions
non-restrictive relative clauses
discourse features
Bantu
adverbial relative clauses
activation status of information
Country:
Tanzania
Field:
Subject Languages:
Nature of Work: