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Tracking topics

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Abstract

This paper presents some preliminary thoughts on comparative discourse structure between Greenlandic and Aleut. Greenlandic is a typical ergative–absolutive language, with coindexing of participants on the verb and typical patterns of information flow which allow topic tracking across clauses (as described in Berge 1997). In Aleut, however, topics are not tracked via case marking on nouns or pronominal inflection on verbs. Instead, Aleut uses a combination of anaphoric marking, passive constructions, and underspecificity in texts which is quite unique in the Eskimo–Aleut language family.

References

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