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The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry

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Volume 26, Issue 2-3


Where's the topic in Zulu?

Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng / Laura J. Downing
Published Online: 2009-08-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2009.008


This article provides a detailed investigation of the prosody and syntax of dislocation in Durban Zulu, an Nguni Bantu language spoken in South Africa. With focus elements obligatorily appearing in an immediately after the verb position, non-focused elements within a verb phrase have to be right- or left-dislocated. We discuss the asymmetries between right- and left-dislocation, showing that only left-dislocated elements can be topics. We argue that aside from a pre-subject Topic position, there is also a Topic position between the subject and the verb phrase. The prosodic phrasing cues in Zulu show that both the CP and the vP phases play a crucial role in determining the alignment with Intonational Phrases.

About the article

Published Online: 2009-08-21

Published in Print: 2009-08-01

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 26, Issue 2-3, Pages 207–238, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2009.008.

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