The Clause Structure of Wolof

Insights into the Left Periphery

Harold Torrence | University of Kansas
ISBN 9789027255815 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027273017 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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This volume investigates the clausal syntax of Wolof, an understudied Atlantic language of Senegal. The goals of the work are descriptive, analytical, and comparative, with a focus on the structure of the left periphery and left peripheral phenomena. The book includes detailed examination of the morpho‑syntax of wh‑questions, successive cyclicity, subject marking, relative clauses, topic/focus articulation, and complementizer agreement. Novel data from Wolof is used to evaluate and extend theoretical proposals concerning the structure of the Complementizer Phrase (CP) and Tense Phrase (TP). It is argued that Wolof provides evidence for the promotion analysis of relative clauses, an “exploded” CP and TP, and for analyses that treat relative clauses as composed of a determiner with a CP complement. It is further argued that Wolof has a set of silent wh‑expressions and these are compared to superficially similar constructions in colloquial German, Bavarian, Dutch, and Norwegian. The book also presents a comparison of complementizer agreement across a number of related and unrelated languages. Data from Indo‑European (Germanic varieties, French, Irish), Niger‑Congo (Atlantic, Bantu, Gur), and Semitic (Arabic) languages put the Wolof phenomena in a larger typological context by showing the range of variation in complementizer agreement systems.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 198] 2013.  xiii, 289 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This is a welcome study of Wolof syntax that is both theoretically informed and rich in empirical data. In arguing for a decompositional approach to the morphology-syntax interface and a cartographic view of the left periphery, Torrence provides an impressive array of data and argumentation that enhance our understanding of relative clauses, null nominals, and complementizer agreement in Wolof. The study compares Wolof to other Atlantic and Niger-Congo languages, and is further expanded to include a cross-linguistic perspective. Soundly researched, this volume makes an important contribution to the study of Wolof syntax and should serve as a point of reference for further studies in this area.”
“The book provides the first theoretically based analysis of central aspects of Wolof grammar, bearing on the syntax of clause types, complementizers and relative clauses, among many others. It represents a work of crucial importance not only for students of Wolof but also for specialists in African languages and theoretical syntax.”
“In line with the tradition of cartographic studies, Torrence's book insightfully contributes to theory and description: The left periphery and other aspects of Wolof are carefully charted, and important advances are made on the typology of topics, relative clause structure, agreeing
complementizers, and silent wh-elements.”
“In this masterly account of the clause structure of Wolof, Harold Torrence presents us with a detailed description of the complementizer system and the inflectional domain of an understudied African language. The study nicely combines original field work with an impressive analysis in terms of the cartography framework.”
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Authier, J. Marc & Liliane Haegeman
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2018. Long-distance extraction attraction: A production-based account of an unexpected cross-linguistic structure. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 3:1 DOI logo
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 14 february 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFK: Grammar, syntax

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012036078 | Marc record