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A Categorisation of non-clauses in Afrikaans

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conference contribution
posted on 2024-01-30, 13:11 authored by ADRI BREEDADRI BREED, Roné Wierenga, Suléne Pilon, Nadine Fouché-Karsten

Non-clausal text units commonly occur in spontaneous speech. However, non-clauses are not restricted to speech, but can also occur in written texts. The General Afrikaans Grammar (AAG) defines a non-clause as a syntactic structure that i) is not integrated into the subject or the predicate of the clause the sentence consists of, and that ii) does not contain an explicit or implicit subject or predicate. However, the specific categories of Afrikaans non-clauses are not yet distinguished in AAG, and this task is complicated by the fact that the term “non-clause” has not been used introduced in the literature on Afrikaans syntax to date, even though some of the elements that are regarded as elements at the sentence periphery might be classified as non-clauses, as well as the fact that there is a lack of agreement in the English literature whether certain constructions are non-clauses or clauses, and clear discrepancies when the same language unit is allocated to both the non-clause category and another category. It is the aim of this paper to 1) identify the types of non-clauses that occur in Afrikaans and to 2) provide working definitions for and examples of these different types of non-clauses by conducting a corpus analysis with the definition of a non-clause as provided in AAG as a starting point. Seven main types of non-clauses are identified based on their pragmatic attributes, namely: i) forms of address, ii) impoliteness expressions, iii) politeness expressions, iv) onomatopoeia, v) discourse markers, vi) hesitators, and vii) exclamatives.

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