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Languages 2018, 3(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3010003

Clausal Coordination in Gã: The Case of nì

Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Room AG415 Chung Sze Yuen Building, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
This paper derives from my Master of Philosophy research in which I investigated the semantics and pragmatics of two Gã clausal connectives: ni and shi.
Received: 16 September 2017 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract

This paper analyses the communicative functions of the Gã (Niger–Congo, Kwa branch) clausal connective nì, roughly corresponding to English ‘and’, drawing on Wilson and Sperber’s (1995; 2004) relevance theory. The study demonstrates that nì is a conjunction that achieves optimal relevance when the nì-utterance has cognitive effects that transcend those of the individual conjuncts of nì. Importantly, the use of nì leads the way in providing clues that aid the interlocutor to “work out” the nature of the inferential relation between the conjuncts. These inferential relations, including addition, temporality, causality, contrast and parallelism, ultimately enable the interlocutor to arrive at the desired and/or intended interpretation of the utterance as a whole. This paper is, thus, an attempt to account for the meaning of nì as well as the pragmatic processes that inform the specific inferential relations between the nì-conjuncts. It also illumines the ways in which pragmatic enrichment and context-dependent inference can strengthen the logical form of clausal coordination in Gã. View Full-Text
Keywords: coordinating connective; conjunct; enrichment; Gã; inference coordinating connective; conjunct; enrichment; ; inference
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Nartey, M. Clausal Coordination in Gã: The Case of nì. Languages 2018, 3, 3.

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