Studies in Akan syntax, acquisition, and sentence processing.

Titre: Studies in Akan syntax, acquisition, and sentence processing.
Auteur(s): Saah, Kofi Korankye.
Date: 1995
Résumé: This is a two-part study that combines the study of several construction types in Akan with a psycholinguistic study. Part I is a syntactic study clause structure in Akan, interrogative sentences, resumptive pronouns and the issue of whether there is syntactic Wh-Movement in Akan. I argue that Akan is basically an in-situ language with regards to the placement of wh-words in questions. Questions with their question-words in pre-IP position are not the result of syntactic wh-movement: they are the result of the general focus marking process in the language which can affect any constituent in a sentence by base-generating it in (Spec, CP) and base-generating a resumptive pronoun (null or overt) in the corresponding argument position in the complement or comment clause/sentence. This analysis is based on such factors such as the absence of gaps, the use of resumptive pronouns even in positions such as the direct object position where movement is allowed, and the possibility of linking a wh-element into a position inside syntactic islands such as relative clauses, VP-complements, and temporal clauses. Part II deals with the acquisition of some of the structures discussed in Part I (in-situ wh-questions, the use of resumptive pronouns, and the sensitivity to the dichotomy between overt (animate) and null (inanimate) resumptive pronouns in the language). It also deals with issues of the processing of sentences involving long-distance dependencies. I argue, based on studies involving Akan and English, that islands constraints may be mimicked by processing principles though island constraints cannot be reduced to principles of sentence processing. It is suggested that a distinction should be made between parsing islands and processing islands and that while the two are not coextensive, they may overlap to a large extent in languages like English where the constraints hold, but not in a language like Akan where the constraints can be violated.
CollectionThèses, 1910 - 2005 // Theses, 1910 - 2005
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