Serial verbs and complex predicates have a long history of research, yet there is comparatively little documentation on Oceanic languages. This volume presents new data for further typological studies. While previous research on serial verbs in Oceanic languages was mostly devoted to "core" serial constructions (with non-contiguous sV(o)sV(o) nuclei), this volume contributes a more detailed investigation of the "nuclear" type of complex predicates involving contiguous sVV(o) nuclei. Complex predicates of the form VV may correspond to two different syntactic structures, either co-ranking or hierarchized (head-modifier). Though the VV pattern does evidence a tendency towards structural compression, often entailing the fusion of the argument structures of two or more nuclei, yet it cannot be reduced to cases of co-lexicalization, compounding or grammaticalization. The data also show the "nuclear" type to be compatible with all types of basic word orders (VSO, VOS, SVO, SOV), with no evidence that this results from any word order change. This challenges the claim that "nuclear" serialization correlates with verb-final order, and "core" serialization with verb-medial order.
Isabelle Bril and Françoise Ozanne-Rivierre are Researchers at the LACITO-CNRS in Villejuif, France.
Specialists in Oceanic (and more generally Austronesian) Languages, Linguists working on serial verbs and other kinds of complex predicates. General Linguists and adjacent domains (Philosophy and Psychology)