deontic and focus

Vanhove vanhove at VJF.CNRS.FR
Tue Sep 21 09:55:36 UTC 2010

  Dear colleagues,

I was wondering whether people on the list know of languages that 
grammaticalized a deontic construction into a focus-argument 
construction (or have one and the same construction for both). Beja 
(Cushitic) may be such a language: both values involve a finite verb 
form (limited to the Imperfective and the Narrative for the deontic) to 
which the nominal copula is cliticized:

ani a-dir=i ti-dhani?na?j

1SG.NOM 1SG-kill\PFV=COP.1SG DEF.SG.F-monster
'I am the one who killed the monster'

jam ti-mir-i=e?k gw?-i?=wa

water 2SG.M-find-NAR.2SG.M=COP.2SG.M

'if you find water you must drink'

Thanks in advance

Best wishes


Martine Vanhove - Directrice
Centre Georges Haudricourt, Bat. C
7, rue Guy Môquet B.P. 8
94801 Villejuif Cedex
Tel: 33 1 49 58 38 18 Fax: 33 1 49 58 38 00

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