Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper investigates the morphosyntactic and pragmatic properties of floating person agreement in Sanzhi Dargwa (Nakh-Daghestanian, Russia). Person agreement enclitics can occur on the verb or on other constituents (NPs, adverbs, or pronouns). In the latter case, they seem to function like constituent focus markers because they emphasize their host, but this effect is limited to elicited sentences. Floating agreement in Sanzhi Dargwa is compared to similar constructions in other Nakh-Daghestanian languages (Udi, Lak) which have been analyzed as synchronic clefts or as diachronically arising from clefts. The paper shows that a synchronic cleft analysis for floating agreement in Sanzhi must be rejected, and it is argued that diachronically they originate from identificational copula constructions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cleft; floating agreement; focus; Nakh-Daghestanian; person marking
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