Aspect-Mood and discourse in Kabyle (Berber) spoken narratives

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The choice among aspectual forms in Kabyle (Berber) discourse that advance the storyline is a matter of stance and genre. Kabyle has at least five aspect-mood forms. Close examination of a folktale shows that Perfective is the main form in narrative sequences that relate events belonging to the skeletal structure of the discourse. In a personal recount contrasting the past and present condition of women, the preverbed Aorist is instead used in the foreground. In both genres, Perfectives are not in themselves foregrounding forms. Storyline advancement results from the co-occurrence of several features: perfectivity, sequenciality of dynamic verbs, word order, and the presence of a proximal clitic on the verbal form. By contrast, Imperfectives are backgrounding forms.


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