A Dependent Marking Approach to the Information Marking of Shilluk

Kwang-sup Kim 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
Corresponding Author: Professor Department of English Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Oedae-ro, Chein-gu Yongin-si, Kyunggido, Korea E-mail:

ⓒ Copyright 2022 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Nov 06, 2022 ; Revised: Dec 09, 2022 ; Accepted: Dec 20, 2022

Published Online: Dec 31, 2022


This paper aims to apply the dependent marking theory to shed light on the distribution of the information markers in Shilluk, which can be divided into two types: marked and unmarked. Focus belongs to the marked type, while Topic belongs to the unmarked type. This paper claims that information marking in Shilluk consists of two steps, with the marked type assigned in Step 1 and the unmarked type in Step 2. In Step 1, if an NP is c-commanded by another NP in a domain, it is assigned the feature [FOC]. In Step 2, if there is a remaining NP that has received no marking in Step 1, it is assigned [TOP]. Topic carries no marking, which gives rise to the pattern “no marking before the verb.”

Keywords: Shilluk; information marking; dependent case approach; Focus; Topic



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