Prosodically determined coordinator placement in Yorùbá
Daniel Aremu, Philipp Weisser
April 2024
 

In this paper, we look at the properties of the clausal coordinator sì in Yorùbá. We will show that despite its unusual surface position in the middle field of the second conjunct, the element should still be treated as a proper coordinator and not, as sometimes claimed, as an adverb. We then go on to fully describe the distribution of sì in simple clauses as well as in complex constructions involving focus movement, adverbial or relative clauses. Based on these configurations, we argue that a search for a uniform syntactic position of sì is bound to be unsuccessful. Rather, we claim that the uniform underlying factor in all of these constructions is that sì always right-attaches to the first phonological phrase of the second conjunct clause irrespective of syntactic constituents or islands. We provide evidence for this claim from various phonological processes such as (i) phonological fusion, (ii) the association of floating tones, (iii) assimilation, (iv) tonal OCP-effects, and (v) allomorphy. The present study thus not only solves a curious language-specific puzzle in Yorùbá but also provides a convincing case of prosodically driven clitic displacement to a position after the first phonological/prosodic phrase. In doing so, it falls nicely into emerging typologies of clitic placement patterns in the world’s languages.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007557
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa
keywords: coordination, phonological phrasing, pf-displacement, second-position clitic, shifting coordinators
previous versions: v1 [September 2023]
Downloaded:327 times

 

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