Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This study examines the interaction of contrastive focus-marking with nominalization in bisected contrastive focus constructions of Alto Perené, a Kampa Arawak language of Peru. It also investigates morphosyntactic means of contrastive focus-marking in two neighboring Kampa languages, Ashéninka Pichis and Ashaninka Tambo. The languages are shown to employ various focus-marking strategies. The Alto Perené polar (truth value) focus construction shows a preference for nominalizing a lexical verb. In Ashaninka Tambo, the expression of polar and modal operator focus (the latter attested in negated clauses) does not require nominalization of the lexical verb, but in clefted content and polar questions and affirmative declarative clauses, nominalization is mandatory for the purpose of argument focusing. In Ashéninka Pichis, the argument focus-marking strategies include the syntactic movement of the focus constituent to the preverbal focus position and either an elision of the subject index on the verb, or inflecting the verb for stative aspect.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Alto Perené; Arawak; argument focus; contrastive focus; Kampa; polar focus
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