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Linguistics

An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

CiteScore 2018: 0.97

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.409

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1613-396X
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Volume 51, Issue 1

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Conditions on pronominal marking in the Alor-Pantar languages

Sebastian Fedden / Dunstan Brown / Greville Corbett / Gary Holton / Marian Klamer / Laura C. Robinson / Antoinette Schapper
Published Online: 2013-01-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2013-0002

Abstract

We examine the varying role of conditions on grammatical relations marking (namely animacy and volitionality) by looking at different languages of one family, using both existing descriptions and working with specially prepared video stimuli. This enables us to see the degree of variation permitted within closely related languages. We look at four Alor-Pantar languages (Teiwa, Adang, Kamang, and Abui), Papuan languages of eastern Indonesia. The conditions on argument marking are manifested in different ways. Those languages with syntactic alignment index objects with a prefix, those which have semantic alignment index objects and some subjects with a prefix. In 42 video clips we systematically varied animacy and volitionality values for participants in one and two-participant events. These clips were used in fieldwork to elicit descriptions of the events. The data show that animacy of the object is an important factor which favours indexation of the object on the verb in all four languages to varying degrees. Volitionality, on the other hand, is a factor in the semantically aligned languages only. While the presence of a prefix on the verb is semantically motivated in many instances, marking is not directly determined by verbal or participant semantics, and lexical factors must also play a role.

Keywords: alignment; animacy; grammatical relations; Papuan; pronominal indexing

About the article

Surrey Morphology Group, School of English and Languages, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, United Kingdom


Published Online: 2013-01-05

Published in Print: 2013-01-04


Citation Information: , Volume 51, Issue 1, Pages 33–74, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2013-0002.

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