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      nà-Cleft (non-)exhaustivity: Variability in Akan

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      Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
      Open Library of the Humanities

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          Abstract

          This paper presents two experimental studies on the exhaustive inference associated with focus-background nà-clefts in Akan (among others, Boadi 1974; Duah 2015; Grubic, Renans & Duah 2019; Titov 2019), with a direct comparison to two recent experiments on German es-clefts employing an identical design (De Veaugh-Geiss et al. 2018). Despite the unforeseen response patterns in Akan in the incremental information-retrieval paradigm used, a post-hoc exploratory analysis reveals striking parallels between the two languages. The results are compatible with a unified approach both (i) cross-linguistically between Akan and German; and (ii) cross-sententially between nà-clefts (α nà P, ’It is α who did P’) and definite pseudoclefts, i.e., definite descriptions with identity statements (Nipa no a P ne α , ’The person who did P is α ’) (Boadi 1974; Ofori 2011). Participant variability in (non-)exhaustive interpretations is accounted for with a discourse-pragmatic analysis of cleft exhaustivity (Pollard & Yasavul 2016; De Veaugh-Geiss et al. 2018; Destruel & De Veaugh-Geiss 2018).

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Open Library of the Humanities
                2397-1835
                January 4 2021
                December 23 2021
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Universität Potsdam
                Article
                10.16995/glossa.5698
                8811c6f6-5a0f-4650-b90a-b681175b4010
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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