The Determiner in Makary Kotoko Narrative Discourse: Attention Guidance and Salience, by Hannah Olney
Department: Master of Arts in Linguistics
Thesis Supervisor: Steve Nicolle, DPhil (MALT)
Second Reader: Sean Allison, PhD (MLIN)
Third Reader: Joseph Lovestrand, PhD (SOAS University of London)
Exam Chair: Dirk Büchner, DLitt (MBIB)
Abstract: The Makary Kotoko [Chadic] determiner is not a grammatically obligatory marker. Although constrained by the identifiability of the referent, speakers are not required to use the determiner in any particular instance. In narrative texts, the distribution of the determiner can be understood through the principles of attention guidance and salience. The primary pattern of distribution is “salience tracking”, where referents receive determiner marking any time they are directly involved in the narrative. Exceptions to this pattern still contribute to the narrator’s overall goal of attention guidance. In addition, two texts displayed a different distribution pattern, “salience flagging”, where the determiner occurred less frequently but still for the purpose of attention guidance. Finally, I propose that the difference between these two patterns may be a result of the process of determiner grammaticalization.