Differential object marking and information structure: on the function of two different pronominal accusatives in Komi and Khanty dialects

  • Gerson Klumpp


The present contribution calls attention to a marginal but interesting phenomenon of variation in grammar, namely the employment of two different accusative markings for pronominal objects encountered (i) in dialect texts from the Komi varieties of Upper Vym’ and Luza, and (ii) in varieties of Kazym-Khanty, i.e. in two different branches of Uralic (Permic and Ugric). Based on contextual observations an explanation in terms of information structure is achieved: as will be argued, in both language varieties, additional accusative forms of pronominal object expressions signal their focality resp. non-focality. The study contributes to the theory of differential object marking by establishing focality as one of its parameters


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