Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

J. Albert Bickford


One of the methods that languages use to indicate which argument (if any) is in focus is morphological; however, there seems to be a major gap in the literature when it comes to understanding the variety and classification of morphological argument focus marking constructions. This thesis is an attempt to fill that gap. I present here both an overview of the types of morphological focus marking constructions found in the world's languages, and a taxonomic classification of said constructions based on the grammaticalisation pathways that result in their genesis. Such constructions include not only the traditional `particle focus' constructions, but also constructions involving clause-level morphology that signals the presence of argument focus. Additionally, this thesis provides a unified set of terms to refer to morphological focus marking constructions, in hopes of clearing up the terminological inconsistency that is currently an issue in discussions of morphological argument focus marking.

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