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Title: The Status of Subject Markers in Urban Wolof
Authors: Macknick, Anna
Advisors: Kalin, Laura
Department: Independent Concentration
Certificate Program: Translation and Intercultural Communication Program
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: Wolof subject markers have been described inconsistently in the literature. These subject markers, which combine with tense, aspect, modality, and polarity (TAMP) markers, have been variably categorized as morphophonological clitics, affixes, or part of a portmanteau with a TAMP, and alternatively labelled as pronominal clitics or agreement markers (see, for example, Robert 2016, Martinović 2015, Torrence 2013, Dunigan 1994, and Church 1981). This thesis examines subject markers in the dialect Urban Wolof, which show distinct sets of behaviors from those described in previous accounts. Using diagnostics from Zwicky and Pullum (1983), Nevins (2011), and Kramer (2014), I argue that subject markers in Urban Wolof are separable from TAMP markers, and behave mainly like affixal agreement markers. This finding tells us that a reanalysis appears to be taking place, where subject markers that may have originally been pronominal clitics are now treated as agreement in Urban Wolof. This outcome highlights the need to disentangle pronominal clitics from morphophonological clitics, and the importance of studying Urban Wolof and nonstandard varieties of languages more generally.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Independent Concentration, 1972-2021

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