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Left dislocation and subordination in Avatime (Kwa)

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Abstract

Left dislocation is characterized by a sentence-initial element which is crossreferenced in the remainder of the sentence, and often set off by an intonation break. Because of these properties, left dislocation has been analyzed as an extraclausal phenomenon. Whether or not left dislocation can occur within subordinate clauses has been a matter of debate in the literature, but has never been checked against corpus data. This paper presents data from Avatime, a Kwa (Niger-Congo) language spoken in Ghana, showing that left dislocation occurs within subordinate clauses in spontaneous discourse. This poses a problem for the extraclausal analysis of left dislocation. I show that this problem can best be solved by assuming that Avatime allows the embedding of units larger than a clause. Keywords: Avatime; left dislocation; subordinate clause; complement clause

References

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