A Typology of Multi-Clausal Constructions in Kwa


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




The project examines the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic nature of multi-clausal constructions with a focus on clausal conjunction in some major Kwa languages (Akan, Ewe, Dangme, Ga) spoken in Ghana. Topics of interest include: (1) the nature of the nexus of such multi-clausal constructions; (2) the nature of the marker used to link clauses (i.e., what it semantically encodes and how it interacts with features of the context to communicate the intended interpretation); and (3) the relationship between markers which function as multi-clausal linkers and general focus markers, since there is often a phonological similarity, or even identity, between these two markers. Ultimately the study intends to contribute to our understanding of the nature of these constructions in the languages in question and hopes to make a contribution to the ongoing theoretical discussion about the correct grammatical classification of different multi-clausal constructions.