The agent-focus construction in Ixil Maya : a descriptive/formal analysis
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This Master’s report describes the Agent Focus construction in Ixil Mayan discourse and proposes a bi-clausal analysis that is discussed within the framework of Lexical Functional Grammar (Bresnan, 2001; Dalrymple, 2001). Many previous analyses of the Agent focus construction have proposed a monoclausal analysis of this construction in other Mayan languages (Aissen, 1992 [Mayan languages in general], 1999 [Tzotzil]; Broadwell, 2000 [Kaqchikel]; Duncan, 2003 [Tzutujil]; Norman & Campbell, 1978 [Proto-Maya]). This analysis differs from these in that I assume the Agent focus construction is a complex, that is, bi-clausal cleft construction. Evidence for this analysis comes from a discussion of the Agent Focus construction in other Mayan languages, and facts about Ixil syntax, and the usage of the Agent Focus in Ixil discourse. I use Lambrecht’s (2001) framework of a cross linguistic typology of cleft construction to establish the function of the Agent Focus in Ixil.