Participant Reference In Sicite (Tagba Senufo) : The Role Of The Emphatic Pronoun In Narrative Discourse


by Anne Garber Kompaor


A.N.T.B.A. and S.I.L. Burkina Faso
Published in Gur Papers / Cahiers Voltaques No. 3 (1998)

0. Introduction

0.0 Sicite, also known as Tagba Senufo, is a Senufo language located in the southwestern part of Burkina Faso in the prefectures of Koloko and Oueleni of the province of Kndougou.

Senufo languages are well-known for their rich set of pronoun/determiners, as well as their noun class system and the corresponding suffixes and pronouns. The pronoun/determiner labelled the emphatic is the object of our study. The emphatic pronoun was previously described by CARLSON (1990) for Supyire, by BOESE (1983) for Nyarafolo, and by WICHSER (1994) for Karaboro. CARLSONs description is the most detailed. He describes its function in sentence level grammar, and gives some suggestions for its function in discourse. BOESE also gives some suggestions for discourse functions, but later states in her conclusion that more study will be  required to determine why it is used when it is used (p.85).

The purpose of this study[1] is to determine the discourse function of the emphatic pronoun/determiner. We found that CARLSONs and WICHSERs observations of the emphatic pronoun at the sentence level also hold for Sicite. Our research has revealed that the discourse function of the emphatic pronoun/determiner has a much more precise role than simply being emphatic. In fact, we suggest that the label emphatic is a misnomer, and propose to change the label. It will be shown that the emphatic pronoun is used to refer to minor participants which are salient at a particular point in the narrative. The emphatic was noted to refer especially to newly introduced participants in the course of the narrative, and to minor participants which carry the role of frustrating the goal of the protagonist. It was also observed that the central participant is never referred to with the emphatic at the discourse level.


0.1 Sicite, like other Senufo languages, has a very rich set of pronouns and determiners. Except for a small tonal detail[2], determiners are almost identical in form to pronouns. They occupy a place just before or after the noun and are roughly equivalent to the English words - this, a, the, some, that, a certain, etc., but there is no one-on-one correspondence between Sicite and French or English. Below in (1) are examples of 4 types of pronouns/determiners showing their use as determiner and as pronoun:

(1) as Determiner

as Pronoun

a. Anaphoric (ANA)[3]: w

w n the man (referred to)

w yaa m He is coming.

b. Emphatic (EMPH): wr

wr n this-that man wr yaa m He is coming.

c. Demonstrative (DEM): g

g n this-that man

g yaa m That one is coming.

d. Partitive (PART): w

n w a certain man

w yaa m Someone is coming.

These pronoun types seem to indicate degree of definiteness or intensity of focus on the referent or switch of focus from one referent to another. It should be noted that Senufo languages do not have pronoun types distinguishing syntactic category. Rather all the types mentioned above can be found in all syntactic slots: subject, object, indirect object, possessive, etc.

Sicite has eight noun classes, with corresponding suffixes and pronominal forms for each noun class. As a result, each of the four pronoun types has 8 forms corresponding to the 8 noun classes, amounting to a total of 32 pronouns!

For your reference, below in (2) is a chart of noun class suffixes in Sicite, and in (3) is a chart of the pronoun/determiners. [4]

(2) Noun class suffixes:

Indefinite Suffix Definite suffix

CL1 SG -0, -V -

CL2 PL -lV, -VV -b

CL3 SG -xV, -V -k, -g

CL4 PL -yv, -nyV -ny

CL5 SG -lV, -nV -n

CL6 PL -xii, -ii -k -g

CL7 -rV, -nV -t, -nd

CL8 -bV, -mV -b, -mb

(3) Pronouns/Determiners:


CL1 SG w wr g w

CL2 PL bi per p p

CL3 SG k, x kr k k

CL4 PL y yr j y

CL5 SG l lr d l

CL6 PL ki, xi ker k k

CL7 t, r tr t t

CL8 b pr p p

1. The Emphatic Pronoun in Sentence Level Grammar

1.1 The Emphatic Pronoun in Complement Clauses of Verbs of Speech and Cognition

As observed in Supyire (CARLSON), the emphatic has a logophoric function, that is, the emphatic is used in reported speech or thoughts when the speaker refers to himself. Compare (4a) and (4b) below:

(4) a. wai jo na wii s panw

he-PERF said that he FUT come

He said he(another) would come.

b. wai jo na wri s panw

he-PERF said that he(EMPH) FUT come

He said that he(the speaker) would come.


Below in (5) is another example taken from a narrative text.

(5) From The Mean Father

wi jo, kr gii

he(ANA)-SEQ INTENS said, that this-one(DEM)

knnaa tn wri

anyway-PERF please him(EMPH)-to

wii yaa wri ny kda kun m

she PROG-NEG his(EMPH) will affair does NEG

And hei said, that, this oneii anyway pleases himi (but) sheii does not do hisi will.

The emphatic form of the pronoun also indicates co-reference in complement clauses of thinking and knowing verbs as seen in (6):

(6) From The Blind Man

Fiini yab b s d x la

blind-man-DF himself-PERF INTENS believes it on

wri yaa ca kbr,

he(EMPH) PROG trying force

The blind mani himself knew very well that hei was trying to force (i.e. trying to get away with his lie.)

1.2 The Emphatic Pronoun and the Relative Clause

In Sicite, the relative clause precedes the main clause and is marked by the clause final marker ge. The head of the relative clause, usually a demonstrative pronoun or determiner, is represented by a resumptive pronoun in the main clause. This resumptive pronoun is quite frequently, though not always, an emphatic pronoun. Note the example below:

(10) From The Mean Father

gi k xaa tn

This one'si (DEM) affair it-PERF pleased

nuii g,

man-DF-to REL

wri yaa ndr na nii

shei(EMPH) PROG-NEG again PROG man-DF

ny kde kun m s.

will affair do NEG !

This one(wife)i (who) pleased the man, shei does not do the man's will. (i.e. The wife that the man liked would not do what her husband wanted her to do.)

1.3 The Emphatic Pronoun and Preposed subjects

Preposed topics, are also often replaced by an Emphatic resumptive pronoun as seen in (11) and (12). Note that in (11), the first Emphatic serves as a resumptive pronoun for the preposed subject, while the second is a signal for co-reference to the speaker in reported speech.

(11) From The twins

Fsnii wrii ba l c

Funsenii, he(EMPH)i VEN it refused (saying)

wri ya kr m;


Funseni, hei refused saying that hei would not go.

(12) Fl fl w ambi, peri s ce

first first POSS twinsi theyi(EMPH) ... do

ma fr b y l.

HAB stuck themi REFL on

The first twinsi, theyi used to be stuck to each otheri.


1.4 Evidence that the emphatic marks co-reference to the salient topic

One question we may want to raise at this point is - what common denominator underlies these uses of the emphatic? Is it possible to isolate one generalization for all these uses, or is each function of the emphatic operate on independent grounds? We would like to suggest that there is a general tendency that we can identify, though the data just presented is not yet enough to prove the hypothesis. The hypothesis that we propose here is that the emphatic pronoun may be a means of marking co-reference to a locally salient topic. In the case of marking co-reference in complement clauses of speech and cognition, the subject would be considered a topic and when the subject refers to himself, the emphatic is used to indicate co-reference to the topic. In the case of the relative clauses and preposed subject, such constructions tend to have the effect of highlighting the topic or in other words, marking local saliency. If the topic is locally salient or highlighted, then the emphatic pronoun serves to mark co-reference to this locally salient topic.

This hypothesis is supported by other types of examples of the use of the emphatic. These are cases where the topic continues to be commented upon in a succeeding clause, in which the Emphatic serves to mark co-reference to this salient topic. It is very similar in function to the relative clause construction. Observe the examples in (13) and (14).

(13) From The Mean Father

gi sa pn ii

This onei (DEM) INTENS-PERF detest himii-to

m sa sr,

and ALLAT too-much

wri sii cnw nii.

shei (EMPH) CONTR-PROG enter-IC man's-DFii

ny kdi

will road-in

This onei displeased himii too much, yet shei enters into the road of the man'sii will. (i.e, He detested this wife, yet she continued to do what he wanted her to do)'

(14) M waa pi se,

you he-PERF somei engendered

peri m saa pii se y,

they(EMPH)i also INTENS-PERF some engendered ..

perii m yr na p

theyii (EMPH) also get-up and(PROG) some

si y,

engender-IC ...

'You had children and they(the children) also had children and those (children) are also having children,... ')

The following discussion on the emphatic in narrative discourse will provide further evidence for the hypothesis that the use of the emphatic is linked to its co-reference with the locally salient topic.

2. The Emphatic in Narrative Discourse

2.1 As we investigated the possible role of the emphatic pronoun in narrative discourse it was interesting to discover where it does NOT occur. Ten fiction narratives were studied and in all of them the central participant (the protagonist) and other major participants, as a rule, are never referred to by the emphatic pronoun except within reported speech. The most common referring elements for the major participants are the unmarked anaphoric pronoun, the surrogate noun (i.e., the man, the woman, etc.), name (if he possesses a name), and in certain points of tension or special highlighting of the major participants' actions, the second person singular pronoun is sometimes used. The emphatic does not seem to be used either for the non-central major participant nor for minor non-salient participants.

On the other hand, when minor participants come on the scene and become salient at a particular point in the story, it is very likely that the emphatic pronoun will be used to refer to them. This is especially the case when the participant enters to frustrate the protagonist's goals in some way, often when there is a buildup of tension towards the peak. It was also seen in numerous stories, that when a new participant comes on the scene and becomes salient at that point in the story, the emphatic is used initially, but if extended interaction with the major participants takes place, the emphatic is no longer used, but rather the anaphoric pronoun and the other referring elements for major participants mentioned above. Discussion of the following stories will serve to illustrate these observations.

The first is formally titled, God defends the just person but for simplicity, we shall title it The Blind Man. On his way home from the market, the blind man is picked up by a leper on his donkey and dropped off at his home. Just as he is let off, the blind man cries out that the leper is taking his donkey away from him. A crowd quickly gathers and is about to pronounce judgement on the leper, when the leper's friend shows up and challenges the blind man to identify the sex of the donkey. Since the donkey is not his, he cannot. His guilt is pronounced by the crowd. They have a good laugh and finish off the story with a moral.

Throughout the story, neither the leper nor the donkey nor the crowd are ever referred to with the emphatic pronoun. The blind man is referred to with the emphatic on only two occasions. The first occasion is the logophoric use of the emphatic, in a complement clause of a verb of cognition. This phrase is given above in example (6). The second instance of the emphatic for the blind man is seen in (15) below.

(15) Y fiin yx, xa ta

you(PL) blind-man ask it-if INTENS-PERF found

wr wx xaa s kfnlge

his(EMPH) one it-PERF INTENS donkey-DF

`You(pl) ask the blind man if it is at all possible that the donkey is really his'.

We have no immediate explanation for the use of the emphatic here, though Carlson (through personal communication) suggests that its use may be linked to the role of contrastive focus in this sentence. This suggestion merits further research.

Aside from these two instances, however, the blind man, who is the major participant in this story is never referred to with the emphatic. Rather, referring elements for the blind man are the anaphoric pronoun, the noun, and in one sentence, the second person singular (which seems to have the effect of highlighting the action of the central participants).

There is one participant, however, that does make heavy use of the emphatic pronoun. The leper's friend is this minor participant. He is introduced only at the point he is needed and is not referred to again as soon as he has fulfilled his role as one who frustrates the blind man's goals. In fact, aside from the sentence introducing the lepers friend, which uses a noun and anaphoric pronoun, the only other referring element used for the leper's friend is the emphatic pronoun. Reproduced below in (16) in English is the entire section referring to leper's friend:

(16) 017 However, when they took each other (i.e. when they both were on the donkey)

018 they passed by the leper's [friend-INDEF],

019 [he-ANA(w) was patching up his bicycle.

020 [he-EMPH(wr)] patched the bicycle

021 and(m) got up(yr)

022... and was running, and was running

024 and finding them there speaking

025 [he-EMPH(wr)] having arrived,

026 [he-EMPH(wr] found nothing to say, (i.e. he went straight to the point)

027 [he-EMPH(wr)] said

Indirect quote follows:

028 THAT no one gave [him-EMPH(wr)] the word, (i.e. he did not wait until he was given authorization to talk)

029 but(g) [he-EMPH(wr)] will finish the words

030 that they be quiet

031 that(SUBJ) they listen to [his-EMPH(wr)] words

032 THAT they ask the blind man ....

The leper's friend then proposes that the crowd interrogate the blind man, and from that point the leper's friend fades from the scene; his job is finished. The emphatic pronouns in lines 28-31 are logophoric, that is, they signal co-reference to the speaker in indirect speech. The other emphatic pronouns, found in lines 20-27, serve to highlight the locally salient topic, in this case the leper's friend.

In summary, then, we see in The Blind Man that the emphatic pronoun is not used as a general rule for major participants and non-salient minor participants, but is used for a minor participant which becomes a salient topic at a crucial point in the narrative.


2.2 The second story we shall look at is labelled Do you know why the sorghum ear bends over when it is ripe?. For simplicity, we shall call it The Mean Father. The story is about a man with two wives, one he loves and the other which he hates. Ironically, the one he loves never does what he wants her to do, while the one he hates does everything in her power to try to please him. Each one has a child and he treats the children in the same way that he treats their mothers. He favors the loved child, while he bends over backwards to try to make the unloved child fail in his enterprises. Yet in spite of this, the unloved child always succeeds. Through a series of three episodes, the father increases his efforts of meanness to the point that he attempts to kill his unloved son in the final episode, but the son is miraculously liberated and it is the father who dies.

The major central participant, the protagonist of the story, is the father. The referring elements used for the father are noun, anaphoric pronoun, second person singular, and emphatic pronoun in indirect speech.

As for the emphatic pronoun, the father talks to himself quite a bit in this story, telling himself what he is going to do, and in each case his co-referent in the indirect speech is the emphatic pronoun. However, aside from its logophoric function, the emphatic is never used to refer to the father.

The second major participant is the unloved son. However, he does not become a major participant, or antagonist until later on in the story, when the loved son drops out of the scene. Up until then, the attitude and behaviour of the father towards the two sons is compared and contrasted, and both sons are heavily referred to with the demonstrative pronoun (which serves to signal a switch in reference between the two) and with the emphatic pronoun when a particular son has already been designated as the topic. Note the example in (17) below:

(17) gi s wai

That-onei(DEM) INTENS hei(ANA)-PERF

pn m,

displease you-to

m s ba wri

you CONTR-PERF return-PERF come hisi(EMPH)

w tnl lo kan guii

POSS profit take-PERF give himii(DEM)-to

wii tx s w yii sx.

him(ANA) help-PERF ALLAT him REFL make up

The very onei that is displeasing to you, you take his(EMPH)i profit and give it to the other oneii to help himii so that heii can break even.(i.e. you take the profit of the one you detest and give it to the other son so that he can break even.)

With three participants all with potentially Noun Class 1 pronouns, this could be a very confusing sentence! The central participant is highlighted here with the use of a second person singular pronoun. The topicalized minor participant, the object of the father's meanness, is first topicalized with use of a relative clause type construction, and then further referred to with the emphatic pronoun, while the third participant is first referred to with a demonstrative pronoun to indicate a switch in participant, followed by a simple anaphoric pronoun, since he is not the participant in focus at this particular point.

In the first episode, the father gives a hen to the loved son and a cock to the unloved son, but both produce chicks! However, because of sorcery, the unloved son's chicks all die except for one.

In the second episode, the father sends the loved son to the market with his 30 chickens, to sell them and bring back the profit, while he kills the unloved son's only chicken and demands that he bring just as much profit as the other. His mother fries it and he takes it to the market to sell. Through some miracle a king's son is sent by his father to buy whatever he wants with a horse. The son sees and wants the fried chicken and the unloved son receives a horse in payment!

In both these episodes, the unloved son is still frequently referred to with the emphatic pronoun. However, at the end of the second episode, as the tide begins to turn, the participant reference strategies begin to change. Examine the passage below:

(18) 123-127 He(the father) caught that(DEM) child'sii (the loved child) thirty

and came (telling) that heii (ANA) sell them at the market

and that heii (ANA) give (the profit) to him(EMPH).

Whatever profit this oneii (DEM) gets for hisii(ANA) ones,

that(EMPH) profit that onei(DEM)(the unloved child) must also receive for hisi (ANA) one.

128 And caught that(DEM) child'si one and killed it.

129-130 And hei(EMPH) went with that(EMPH)dead chicken and gave it to hisi (ANA) mother to fry.

131-133 This oneii(DEM) went with hisii 30 to the market and sold them, they did not surpass 5,000 francs.

134 That onei (DEM) having fried hisi (ANA) one,

135-142 Then a king from someplace gave a horse to his son, saying, ...(see (19))

143-144 They bought the fried chicken and gave the horse to him(EMPH)i!

145 Did he(EMPH)i not get up?

146-147 Youi who have a fried chicken, and youi INTENS get a whole horse

148-149 Youii who have 30 chickens, youii INTENS get 5,000 francs

150-151 The dead chicken owneri got up also, and passed by him ii(ANA)(the loved son).

At the beginning of this passage, the unloved son is contrasted frequently with the loved son through the use of the demonstrative pronoun (see lines 123-134). However in order to highlight the astonishing contrast in the turn of events for the two sons, the second person singular pronoun is used for both sons as seen in lines 146-149. It should be noted that the emphatic is used more frequently for the unloved son than for the loved son, indicating that the unloved son is more salient at this point. (see lines 129, 144, and 145).

However, from line 146 until the end of the story, the unloved son is never again referred to with the emphatic pronoun. It is also from this point on that the loved son drops completely out of the story and the unloved son becomes a major participant in relation to the father, the central participant. This observation agrees with the hypothesis that for major participants, as a rule, the emphatic is not used as a referring element except when the emphatic is logophoric.

There are two other sets of minor participants for whom the emphatic pronoun is used in this story. The first are the two wives, whose roles are limited to the setting. The comparing and contrasting of the behaviour of the husband towards his two wives brings out the use of both the demonstrative to switch the reference between the two wives and the emphatic as a reference to the locally salient topic.

The second minor participant is the fried chicken itself. This fried chicken in effect is the tiny instrument that in the end is used to frustrate the goal of the protagonist, the father. Two referring elements for the fried chicken use the emphatic determiner along with a noun, as seen in lines 129 and 141 in (19)[5]. In lines 138 and 139, we see the use of the emphatic determiner and pronoun in reference to that thing, yet unnamed that the king's son will choose. These latter emphatic referring elements are found within a relative clause construction which begins in line 137. If we count these two, we have four emphatic determiners and pronouns used to refer to the dead chicken. Starting from line 142, however, the fried chicken is referred to by its noun without an emphatic determiner (see also lines 146 and 150 in (18)).


129-130 And hei (EMPH) went with that(EMPH) dead-chickeniii and gave to hisi(ANA) mother to fry.

131-133 This oneii(DEM) went with hisii 30 to the market and sold them, they did not surpass 5,000 francs.

134 That onei (DEM) having fried hisi (ANA) oneiii.

135 Then a king from someplace gave a horse to his(ANA) son, (saying)

136 that he(ANA) go with the horse to the market,

137 Whatever thingiii pleases him(ANA),

138 that he(ANA) give the horse to its(EMPH)iii owner

139 and take that(EMPH)iii thing

140 They went ... to walk in the market,

141 they saw nothing until that(EMPH)iii fried chicken it(ANA) was found to please the horse owner

142 They bought the fried chicken iii

In summary, the story of The mean father uses the emphatic for the following situations:

1. In indirect speech, whenever the speaker refers to himself,

2. For locally salient topicalized minor participants, and

3. For minor participants which carry the role of frustrating the goal of the protagonist.

Except in indirect speech, the emphatic is not used to refer to the central participant (protagonist) nor to the non-central major participant(antagonist). It is not used either with non-salient minor participants except when they become locally salient. When a locally salient minor participant continues to be referred to, and in particular, when it becomes a major participant, the emphatic is no longer used.


2.3 We found that other narratives, both fiction, snd historical, display these same characteristics. Consistently, in all cases, the major participants are not referred to with the emphatic except as co-reference in indirect speech.

In several stories, it was found that newly introduced participants which eventually become major participants are initially referred to with the emphatic, but after several references and interaction with the central participant is established, the emphatic is dropped in favor of the anaphoric pronoun or a noun. In the story, loosely translated as 'The origin of the maternal uncle' (as told by the famous storyteller, Yaandurugo), two young men are obliged to ask their sister to sacrifice her child for the benefit of the bush spirits. As the sister comes on the scene, she is referred to with the emphatic pronoun three times before other forms of reference take over. In the Sicite translation of the gospel of Mark, numerous narratives can be cited where a new participant, initially referred to by the emphatic, gives way to noun or anaphoric pronoun references. Specific examples are found in Mark 2:1-12, and Mark 7:24-29. These observations parallel the observation made above in the story of The Mean Father, where the unloved son, initially a minor salient participant, loses the emphatic reference when he becomes established and more prominent in the story.

The literary device of using the emphatic to refer to the participant which serves to frustrate the goals of the protagonist also appears quite frequently in stories. Recall, in The Blind Man, the case of the leper's friend who spoils the blind man's efforts to steal a donkey. In the story of The Mean Father, it is the famous fried chicken. In the story of The foolish child, the three things that transform into barriers to block the path of the chasing buffaloes are consistently referred to with the emphatic pronoun. In the narrative of Which one is the glutton, the antelope's foot which serves to spoil the third person's meal is referred to with an emphatic determiner.

3. The Emphatic in Conversation and in Logical Linkages

3.1 We have not yet done a close study of conversation, but what we have observed so far is that conversation makes heavy use of the emphatic perhaps because there is frequent topic switching and highlighting. When each speaker takes his turn to comment on a particular topic, he uses an emphatic pronoun to indicate that he is referring to the topic that has been introduced by the first speaker and that has not yet been changed by intervening speakers.

3.2 Another area that would merit further research is the use of the emphatic in logical and other linkages in discourse. The emphatic pronoun, lr is frequently used in this role:

1. It can refer back to an entire event or state:



(20) That(EMPH)(lr) did not please me.


2. It can be used to refer to an event or a state that is the cause or reason of the event being commented on. This type of construction is common in expository discourse:

(21)a. T na k pr l.

father-DF PAST died that(EMPH) on

The father died as a result.

b. Lr la, ...

Because of that, ...

3. It can be used in an expression to contrast one state or event with an another:

(22) N lr b m

If that(EMPH) not


4. It is also used to introduce certain off-line action within a narrative:

(23) Lir ta, ....

That(EMPH) found It happened that ....

4. Concluding Comments

4.1 It was suggested by BOESE and CARLSON that the emphatic was used particularly in situations where there was a crowded stage and that it was a device used to distinguish participants. It is true that the emphatic is often used when there are a lot of participants on stage but it would be simplistic to say that this was the primary role of the emphatic. All other pronouns in combination with the emphatic serve to distinguish the participants. The emphatic serves to distinguish a minor salient participant. The demonstrative can serve to signal a switch in reference of participants (though this is not its only function), while the anaphoric pronoun is used primarily to refer to non-salient minor participants and major participants. However, there are cases where the emphatic was not really needed to distinguish participants. In the case of the fried chicken, the fried chicken is referred to with a noun accompanied by the emphatic determiner. The emphatic determiner was not needed to distinguish the fried chicken from any other fried chicken! The same is the case for the antelope foot in Which one is the Glutton?. Even in the story of The Blind Man, the leper's friend did not have to be constantly referred to throughout with the emphatic in order to distinguish him from other participants.

4.2 What about the label emphatic? It is clear from the data presented here that the emphatic pronoun is not used to simply highlight participants. Indeed, Sicite has a variety of devices to intensify and to put special emphasis on participants. Recall the highlighting function of the second person pronoun in The Blind Manand The Mean Father (see (17) and lines 146-149 of (18)).

If emphatic is not an appropriate label, we need to explore other options. Should we call it a thematic pronoun, as proposed by Levinsohn (personal communication)? We have not yet seen a description of this type of pronoun in languages other than Senufo. At this point, we do not have a definite proposal. We invite any suggestions.

4.3 In conclusion, we wish to state that research on the use of the emphatic and other pronouns is not yet complete. It is difficult to analyse one pronoun in exclusion to another. Therefore further studies will necessarily research the inter-relationship between all the pronouns and participants in discourse.


Boese, Linnea Eleanor. 1983. Nyarafolo Personal Narratives and Procedurals: A Discourse Analysis. Master's thesis, Michigan State University. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Carlson, Robert Joel. 1990. A Grammar of Supyire: Kampwo Dialect. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oregon.

Levinsohn, Stephen H. 1992. Discourse Features of New Testament Greek. Summer Institute of Linguistics, Dallas, Texas.

Linde, Charlotte. 1979. " Focus of Attention and the choice of Pronouns in Discourse" in Syntax and Semantics 12: Discourse and Syntax ed. by Talmy Givon. Academic Press, New York.

Longacre, Robert E. and Dorothy J. Shaler, eds. 1990. Indian Textlinguistic Sketches. Occasional Papers in Translation and Textlinguistics, Vol, 4, No. 1-2.

Wichser, Magdalena. 1994. Description Grammaticale du Kar, langue senoufo du Burkina Faso. Doctoral thesis. Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris.


ALLAT allative

ANA anaphoric pronoun/determiner

CL noun class

CONTR countering particle

DEM demonstrative pronoun/determiner

DF definite suffix

EMPH emphatic pronoun/determiner

FUT future tense

IC incompletive suffix

INDEF indefinite suffix

INTENS intensifier particle

NEG negative

PART partitive pronoun/determiner

PAST past tense

PERF perfective aspect

PL plural

PROG progressive aspect

REFL reflexive pronoun

SEQ sequentiel marker

SUBJ subjunctive

VEN Venitive

[1] I would like thank Moussa Traor for his collection and careful transcription of the texts referred to in this article and Zanga Traor for his careful glossing and translation of the texts into French. I would also like to thank Robert Carlson, Steven Levinsohn, Regina Blass and Inge Egner for their helpful comments and encouragement.

[2] For example, the noun phrase, EMPH + Noun can be either EMPH Determiner + Noun or EMPH Pronoun + Noun. The only difference is that tone spreading is not allowed between a determiner and a noun, while the tone of the EMPH pronoun spreads on to the noun when the right tonal conditions are met:

wr j this son (No tone spreading)

wr j his son (Low tone spreading)

[3] A list of abbreviations can be found at the end of the article.

[4] Bob Carlson gives a detailed description of each pronoun in Suppyire, a very closely related language found across the border in Mali, in his dissertation, A Grammar of Supyire (1990, 1994).


[5] For reference to the text preceding and following this passage, please refer to (18).