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Effects of phonological phrasing on syntactic structure

Kula, Nancy C (2007) 'Effects of phonological phrasing on syntactic structure.' The Linguistic Review, 24 (2-3). pp. 201-231. ISSN 0167-6318


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Bantu languages are renowned as tone languages that utilize this suprasegmental feature not only on the lexical level to distinguish lexical items, but also on the grammatical level to distinguish clause types. This article investigates one such use of grammatical tone in relative clauses in Bemba where a low tone can be used in place of a segmental relative marker. This low tone relative morpheme functions in conjunction with phrase boundary tone indicated on the head noun and which entails either restrictive or non-restrictive interpretations of relatives. Considering a mapping of XPs to major phonological phrases in the syntax-prosody interface, the resultant phonological phrasing in relatives influences the choice of syntactic structure. In the case at hand, a head-raising analysis provides an optimal mapping between syntax and prosody for restrictives. Further, a more direct influence of phonology on syntax can be seen in a perception-based model like Dynamic Syntax where the on-line building of syntactic trees can gain import from phonological information. © Walter de Gruyter 2007.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bemba language; syntax; clause; relative marker; intonational phrase; head (syntax)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 15:11
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:30

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