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On the structure of A-bar constructions in Dagbani: Perspectives of «wh»-questions and fragment answers


Samuel Alhassan Issah

This book provides an account of the structure of A-bar constructions, focusing on wh-questions and fragment answers in Dagbani, a Mabia (Gur) language spoken in Northern Ghana. It demonstrates that Dagbani wh-phrases occur in two distinct positions, ex-situ and in-situ, except for subject wh-phrases, which only occur in the former position. It provides a theoretical analysis of the distribution of the wh-phrases couched within minimalism (Chomsky 1995). Finally, the book gives an account of the structural correlation between wh-questions and their answers with the focus on the syntactic derivation of fragment answers. The author contends that the derivation of fragment answer involves two processes: A-bar movement together with PF-deletion

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It has classically been the view that PhD studies is a lonely journey. However, it appears my story is quite different! I was surrounded by several genuine smiling faces that served as motivation daily. First, I am particularly grateful to my Principal Supervisor, Professor Dr. Katharina Hartmann for her patience, guidance and encouragement. Working under you was a great opportunity for mentorship! You taught me how to present linguistic data and construct arguments based on the empirical material. This has helped in shaping my linguistic argumentation and analytical skills. I owe you a lot for your professional guidance, patience and time. At my several meetings with you, you presented me with challenging questions that had always pushed me to think beyond the superficial syntactic ideas I had about Dagbani. This dissertation could not have come into existence without your commitment and patience in handling me. For this, I say danke schön.

To my co-supervisor, Professor Dr. Adams Bodomo, I am grateful to you for making my dream of working under you feasible. You made time to study each of my drafts you received and presented me with very probing questions that made me get back to the salient issues I initially did not address. Your insightful comments and suggestions were crucial in improving upon the quality of the dissertation. Thanks a lot for making my visits to the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, the University of Vienna possible. I had the opportunity to share...

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