Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4291
Title: On the Distribution of Complementizers in Wolof
Authors: Torrence, William Harold
Keywords: Niger-Congo Languages
Western Atlantic Languages
Wolof - Grammar
Syntax
Complementizers
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: UCLA
Abstract: This dissertation concerns the distribution of complementizers in Wolof, a West Atlantic language. I present a description and analysis of three complementizers, i/a/u which occur in several constructions, as D° and C°-like elements. Once the morphology is decomposed, I show that these complementizers have rather uniform behavior across construction types. The thesis is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to Wolof and the necessary background for later chapters. Chapter 2 analyzes the “w-construction”, a wh-question construction. I argue that Wolof has a set of silent wh-words whose presence is detectable by the agreement that they trigger on the complementizer. In addition, I argue that in the w-construction the putative wh-words are complementizers. Chapter 3 argues for a promotion analysis of relative clauses in Wolof, which display three complementizers, u/i/a. Chapter 4 focuses on cleft constructions. It is argued that the -a- that appears in clefts is not a complementizer, but a raising predicate similar to English be. I further argue that clefting of a subject involves extraction from a TP while clefting of a non-subject involves extraction from a full CP structure. This yields an account for basic subject/non-subject asymmetries in cleft constructions in Wolof.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4291
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