Vol 21 No 3 (2012): Nordic Journal of African Studies
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Exploring Expressions of Focus in Ewe

Linda Badan
Leiden University
Leston Buell
University of Amsterdam
Nordic Journal of African Studies
Published September 30, 2012

Abstract

In this article we investigate various focus constructions in Ewe. The contribution of this paper is two-fold: First, it presents new evidence that focus fronting in Ewe is simply movement to a focus phrase in left periphery of the clause, and, secondly, it presents an analysis of the focus ɖè construction in which little previous work has been conducted. In the first part of the paper we investigate the pragmatic uses of the particle yé, which we analyse as the head of a focus projection that does not encode a specific kind of focus, but can host elements expressing a range of focal interpretations. In the second part of the paper we argue that the ɖè construction used in one form of predicate focus is not a focus particle of the same class as yé, but rather an overt focus operator located in the C domain.