Arabic-based Pidgins and Creoles
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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The article discusses the information structure of Juba Arabic, an Arabic-based pidgincreole of South Sudan, showing how the expression of topic and focus is the result of a complex interaction of morphosyntactic and prosodic means. While the lexical elements used in the expression of topic and focus are Arabic-derived, no such influence can be found in the prosody. Both topic- and focus-marked utterances can be opposed to neutral ones. Topics are marked syntactically through left dislocation as well as prosodically. Morphosyntactic means include the use of the ‘almost-dedicated’ marker zátu for marking contrastive focus and the two dedicated particles yáwu and yawú, both derived from the multifunctional element ya. The articles further explores the grammaticalization path leading to the dedicated focus particles of Juba Arabic.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): focus; grammaticalization; information structure; Juba Arabic; morphosyntax; prosody; topic
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