Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/3405
Title: Semantic Typology. Semantics of Locative Relations in Rongga (ISO 639-3: ROR)
Authors: Aryawibawa, I Nyoman
Keywords: Austronesian Languages
Malayo-Polynesian Languages
Rongga
Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian Languages
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: University of Kansas
Abstract: Many scholars have proposed a universal set of locative relations. Herskovits’s comprehensive study of English locative relations found that locative concepts such as inclusion, support and contiguity, and coincidence are basic in English. Her findings offer support for strong Universal Conceptual Categories. On the other hand, Levinson et al.’s examination of locative relations of nine unrelated languages revealed that the basic concepts are attachments, superadjacency, full containment, subadjacency, and proximity which suggest Universal Tendencies rather than Universal Conceptual Categories. This study investigates how locative relations are encoded in Rongga and their implications for the universalism of locative relations. A standard elicitation technique (topological relation picture series) was used in this study. It appears that Rongga is unique in the priority it gives to the notion of functional relations over locative relations. Functional relations refer to the “natural” function between located and reference objects. Thus, when a natural function is present the relation is functional rather than spatial. Rongga uses the preposition one to refer to “expected” functional relations. Additionally, the natural functional relation defines what “normality” is in Rongga. However, when the natural relation is absent the relation becomes locative. Therefore, the relation is “unexpected”. Various prepositions such as zheta wewo/zheta tolo ‘on’, zheta wena ‘over/above’, zhale one ‘inside’, zhale wena/zhale lewu ‘below/under’ are used to express locative relations. In other words, instead of encoding the locative relationship based upon the locative concepts described by Herskovits and Levinson et al., Rongga emphasizes the importance of natural function between located and reference objects. Since the functional relation is highly salient in Rongga, the notions functionality should be considered in addition to locative relations. Furthermore, the salience of functional relations in Rongga suggests that the functional preposition (one) indicating functional relation is acquired earlier because it is morphologically and syntactically less complex and its semantics is more abstract than the prepositions indicating the locative relations (zheta wewo/zheta tolo ‘on’, zheta wena ‘over/above’, zhale one ‘inside’, zhale wena/zhale lewu ‘below/under’). In short, the functional relation between objects is crucial in Rongga, and is used to separate functional relationships from the locative relationships.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/3405
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