This paper provides a description of the post-nominal pronoun construction in Esan [Edoid: Nigeria]. In this construction, the initial (pro)nominal of a sentence is immediately followed by a coreferential pronoun. The pronoun ọ 'he/she/it' occurs following singular antecedents, as well as the plural pronoun antecedents mhan 'we' and bha 'youpl'. The pronoun e 'they' occurs following third person plural antecedents. Generally, the presence of a post-nominal pronoun conveys (1) that the speaker is confirming or reporting something, or (2) that an event has happened less recent with respect to a specific reference point. I argue that the post-nominal pronoun construction is a type of dislocation structure, in which a (pro)nominal has moved from subject position to a position in the left periphery before the rest of the clause, with a co-referential resumptive pronoun surfacing in its place.
Selected Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages in Contact
edited by Bruce Connell and Nicholas Rolle
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