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8 Overview of the verb

Bruno Olsson


This short chapter is concerned with the morphological building blocks forming the verb complex (or simply verb) in Coastal Marind. I will use this label to refer to the part of the clause in which a verbal root combines with grammatical (inflectional) material expressing tense, person indexing, and a variety of other grammatical meanings. As will be clear from the following description, the Coastal Marind verb complex consists of adjacent, but phonologically independent, units that together make up a grammatical verb unit. This makes the Coastal Marind verb different from the verbs of languages such as English or French, in which the label ‘verb’ is used for phonologically unitary words representing an inflectional form of a verbal lexeme (e.g. sings, or brought in brought up). Below, I first describe verbs as a word class (§8.1). I then outline the general structure of the verb complex (§8.2), and describe the ordering of prefixes (§8.3), including exceptional variation in their ordering (§8.3.2), as well as the structure of the verb stem (§8.4). Finally, some remarks on the suffixes that may be added at the end of the verb complex are given (§8.5).

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