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Expressive Grammar of Arusa Maasai: Interjections, ideophones and gestures

Goal: To describe the expressive grammar of Arusa Maasai

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Michael Karani
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To describe the expressive grammar of Arusa Maasai
 
Michael Karani
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Working on Ideophones, interjections and gestures in Maasai language
 
Michael Karani
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This paper discusses the phenomenon of L(eft) D(islocation) in Arusa-a southern variety of Maasai-and, in particular, the presence of resumption in LD constructions. With respect to resumption, Arusa allows for two types of LD. In most cases, a non-resumptive type of LD is used. This variant is obligatory if a possible resumptive element refers to an argument of the verb of the matrix clause (i.e. subject, direct and indirect objects and applied objects). The resumptive type, which is significantly less frequent, appears only if the dislocate corresponds to an adjunct in the matrix clause. The pervasiveness of the non-resumptive LD stems from the ungrammaticality of overt independent pronominal arguments in most positions in Arusa. As a result, resumption cannot be viewed as a decisive feature for the classification of a construction as LD, and its lack as a sufficient reason to propose a different category. Rather, LD should be viewed as a radial category containing both constructions that match the LD prototype and structures that are more remote from the exemplar.