Abstract: This paper investigates pluractionality in Ranmo, an understudied, underdocumented Papuan (non-Austronesian) language spoken in southwest Papua New Guinea. Based on original fieldwork, this paper brings novel data to bear on the issue of how we delimit the term “pluractional.” It has been frequently observed that pluractional verbs denote not just plural events, but also carry the implication of ‘many’; however, the relationship between “plurality” and “multiplicity” has not been sufficiently explored in the literature. Ranmo has much to contribute in this area because the two notions correspond to two morphologically distinguishable phenomena: root alternation and - an -suffixation. Based on their interaction, I propose that pluractional predicates involve two semantically distinct components, namely, PL (plural) and DEG (degree) meaning ‘a lot’; the latter contributes the ‘many’ reading.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 26, 2016
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