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Subject Agreement in Marovo: Diachronic Explanations of Synchronic Conditions

Subject Agreement in Marovo: Diachronic Explanations of Synchronic Conditions Abstract: In many Oceanic languages, subject arguments are indexed by preverbal markers within the verb complex. In Marovo, an Oceanic language of the Solomon Islands, such subject markers show unusual synchronic behavior, in that their presence is conditioned by both morphosyntactic and pragmatic characteristics of the clause. Thus, in Marovo preverbal subject markers occur obligatorily with certain clause-initial discourse connective particles and with the negative particle. Subject markers also occur outside of these morphosyntactic environments, where their use contrasts with that of other expressions of the subject argument, including lexical or pronominal noun phrases or the lack of overt expression. Within this context of subject expression more generally, the occurrence of Marovo subject markers can be seen to be determined by the discourse role of the subject argument. It is argued here, through comparison of Marovo subject marking with that in closely related languages, that these synchronic condition shave diachronic explanations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

Subject Agreement in Marovo: Diachronic Explanations of Synchronic Conditions

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 47 (2) – Jan 24, 2009

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai‘i Press
ISSN
1527-9421
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: In many Oceanic languages, subject arguments are indexed by preverbal markers within the verb complex. In Marovo, an Oceanic language of the Solomon Islands, such subject markers show unusual synchronic behavior, in that their presence is conditioned by both morphosyntactic and pragmatic characteristics of the clause. Thus, in Marovo preverbal subject markers occur obligatorily with certain clause-initial discourse connective particles and with the negative particle. Subject markers also occur outside of these morphosyntactic environments, where their use contrasts with that of other expressions of the subject argument, including lexical or pronominal noun phrases or the lack of overt expression. Within this context of subject expression more generally, the occurrence of Marovo subject markers can be seen to be determined by the discourse role of the subject argument. It is argued here, through comparison of Marovo subject marking with that in closely related languages, that these synchronic condition shave diachronic explanations.

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 24, 2009

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