Subordinate clauses and exclusive focus in Makhuwa

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In Makhuwa the element immediately after the conjoint verb form is interpreted as exclusive focus (Van der Wal 2011). This paper shows that the relation between the conjoint verb form and focus in Immediate After Verb (IAV) position holds not only for nouns and simple adverbs, but also for adverbial subordinate clauses with a relative or Situative verb, which are clearly focused when they follow a conjoint verb form. I propose that the reason that sentential complements do <i>not</i> receive a focus interpretation in the same position is due to the absence of internal information structure in the adverbial clauses. Hence, adverbial clauses but not complement clauses function as a single integrated informational unit in the information structure of the main clause. Keywords: Makhuwa; exclusive focus; subordinate clause; information structure


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