Category: General

Colloquium: Friday 11/2, Sharon Rose (UCSD)

Published: October 30, 2012

Sharon Rose will be delivering the first department colloquium of the year this Friday, November 2. Lunch follows in Campbell 2122. Her talk is titled: The Syntax And Prosody Of Moro Questions.

Speaker: Sharon Rose (UCSD)
Title: The Syntax And Prosody Of Moro Questions
Location: Rolfe 3126
Time: Friday, November 2, 11-1pm
Contact: Anoop Mahajan


The structure of questions in African languages has been the focus of numerous studies. In this talk, I highlight both the syntactic and prosodic structure of questions in Moro, a Kordofanian language of Sudan. Moro polar questions are marked by an optional low-toned question particle –a. A study of the f0 patterns of declaratives and polar questions reveals that declaratives are marked by a final fall, but modulated by the final lexical tone of the word. The overall f0 range of questions is higher compared to declaratives in the initial portion of subject-verb-object questions, but phrase-finally, the final word shows reduced pitch range. Moro employs both in-situ and ex-situ wh-questions. Subject questions employ the ex-situ structure, whereas both options are used for non-subjects. I show that the ex-situ structure is a wh-cleft, based on parallels with relative clauses and clefts, including morphological markers and tone patterns. Subject and non-subject cleft questions are further distinguished by different clause markers and the presence of complementizer doubling. Finally, I discuss the prosody of wh-questions as compared to declaratives and polar questions. This research is collaborative with members of the Moro Language Project.