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The Interpretation of tu and Kavalan Ergativity

The Interpretation of tu and Kavalan Ergativity Hsiu-chuan Liao university of hawai`i Kavalan, an Austronesian language spoken in Taiwan, has been variously analyzed as accusative, ergative, and split ergative. These different conclusions stem from the fact that certain two-argument clause patterns are ambiguous regarding transitivity. To settle the matter, it is necessary to distinguish canonical transitive clauses from dyadic intransitive clauses. In this paper, we evaluate three proposals that have been made concerning Kavalan transitivity and actancy strucre in terms of their morphosyntactic and semantic properties. We pay special attention to the form and determine that it is best analyzed as an oblique marker rather than as an accusative marker. We also conclude that there is only one canonical transitive construction, that found in two-argument -an clauses. The two-argument m- clauses, commonly analyzed as canonical transitives in most previous analyses, are treated as extended intransitives or pseudo-transitives--a type of intransitive clause. This leads to the conclusion that Kavalan is best analyzed as a purely ergative language. 1. INTRODUCTION.1 In the sdies of Formosan, Philippine, and other western Austronesian languages as well,2 the distinction between valency and transitivity has often been neglected. Many Austronesianists equate monadic clauses with intransitive clauses, and dyadic clauses with transitive clauses http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

The Interpretation of tu and Kavalan Ergativity

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 41 (1) – Jun 1, 2002

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © 2002 University of Hawai'i Press.
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1527-9421
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Abstract

Hsiu-chuan Liao university of hawai`i Kavalan, an Austronesian language spoken in Taiwan, has been variously analyzed as accusative, ergative, and split ergative. These different conclusions stem from the fact that certain two-argument clause patterns are ambiguous regarding transitivity. To settle the matter, it is necessary to distinguish canonical transitive clauses from dyadic intransitive clauses. In this paper, we evaluate three proposals that have been made concerning Kavalan transitivity and actancy strucre in terms of their morphosyntactic and semantic properties. We pay special attention to the form and determine that it is best analyzed as an oblique marker rather than as an accusative marker. We also conclude that there is only one canonical transitive construction, that found in two-argument -an clauses. The two-argument m- clauses, commonly analyzed as canonical transitives in most previous analyses, are treated as extended intransitives or pseudo-transitives--a type of intransitive clause. This leads to the conclusion that Kavalan is best analyzed as a purely ergative language. 1. INTRODUCTION.1 In the sdies of Formosan, Philippine, and other western Austronesian languages as well,2 the distinction between valency and transitivity has often been neglected. Many Austronesianists equate monadic clauses with intransitive clauses, and dyadic clauses with transitive clauses

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 1, 2002

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