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The phrasal basis of grammatical categories in Oceanic languages


Hammond,  Jeremy
Syntax, Typology, and Information Structure, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Volltexte (frei zugänglich)

COOL8 categories.pdf
(beliebiger Volltext), 822KB

Ergänzendes Material (frei zugänglich)

Categories Handout.pdf
(Ergänzendes Material), 962KB


Foley, W., & Hammond, J. (2010). The phrasal basis of grammatical categories in Oceanic languages. Talk presented at 8th Conference on Oceanic Linguistics. Auckland. 2010-01-04 - 2010-01-09.

This paper is a new investigation into the lexical distinction between the parts of speech, noun and verb, in two Oceanic languages, Tolai and Whitesands. It addresses crucial problems about what criteria can be used to define them and their associated syntactic structures. One problem in both languages is their typical Oceanic behaviour in regards to inalienable nouns. There exists an object-denoting root class, prototypically members of the noun class in non-Austronesian that have obligatory argument assignment. This phenomenon is problematic in many theoretical accounts of the noun/verb distinction, which argue that nouns contrast with verbs in not assigning argument structure. The approach proposed here claims the noun/verb contrast within Oceanic languages needs to be primarily at a phrasal not lexical level. This approach fundamentally contrasts with previous analysis of parts of speech in Oceanic and cross-linguistically. It ultimately explains many of the syntactic phenomena seen in the language family, including the above possession dilemma and also details of widespread nominalisation processes.