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Title: Word Order Change in Papua New Guinea Austronesian Languages
Authors: Bradshaw, Joel
Keywords: Austronesian Languages
Issue Date: 1982
Publisher: University of Hawaii
Abstract: From a general Austronesian (AN) point of view, the AN languages of the New Guinea mainland possess very distinctive word order typology. They are unique i n possessing many traits associated with OV word order. Section 1.1 summarizes the word order typology of these languages and presents distributional evidence that, when AN languages arrived i n New Guinea, they possessed VO word order typology and that they moved toward OV typology as a result of contact with Papuan languages. Many of the traits which make New Guinea AN languages distinct are innovative and widely shared among the languages of the area. This has led linguistics to suspect some genetic basis for the innovations. Section 1.2 examines the evidence for the New Guinea Oceanic (NGO) hypothesis, which assumes t h a t many of the innovations occurred only once i n a proto-language, Proto-NGO, ancestral t o most of the AN languages on the New Guinea mainland. Current hypotheses about lower-level subgroups within the putative NGO group are also summarized. In this dissertation, NGO is used as a typological rather than genetic label . Chapter 2 examines verbal position intransitive clauses. It argues that, as part of the move from VO to OV word order, SVOV serial causative constructions arose and largely displaced the common AN morphological causative i n almost a l l NGO languages. The serial causative then gave rise to the compound causative and classificatory prefix constructions typically found i n those languages that have made the f u l l s h i f t t o OV word order. Chapter 2 concludes that NGO languages adopted a strategy of aiming t o produce s t r u c t u r a l l y ambiguous SVOV syntax while switching from VO to OV word order. Much has been written about the prenominal position of the genitive i n the AN languages of New Guinea and eastern Indonesia. Section 3.1 briefly reviews some of t h i s l i t e r a t u r e . Assuming that no further evidence is needed to show t h a t NGO languages have preposed genitives, the bulk of Chapter 3 o u t l i n e s t h r e e widespread grammatical innovations that accompany the change i n genitive word order: F i r s t , many languages use preposed focal pronouns t o reinf orce pronominal genitives. However, neither t h i s combination nor the d i s t i n c t i v e morphological innovations which sometimes a r i s e from it constitute good evidence of genetic a f f i l i a t i o n . Second, many languages allow certain kinds of genitives to be postposed. These postposed genitives do not appear to be r e l i c s of ancestral word order. Finally, a large number of NGO languages have elaborated the role of the npossessiven suffixes. The suffixes seem t o have taken on the function of marking NP-final position i n NPs containing modifiers. Chapter 4 deals with nominal modifiers other than genitives. Adjectives are postposed i n all NGO languages and are suffixed i n many languages to show the number and/or person of their head nouns. Unmarked modifying nouns are preposed. NPs containing postposed modifying nouns usually also contain grammatical markers in NP-final position. Relative clauses i n the great majority of NGO languages are postposed. However, they are preposed i n the languages of Central Province, PNG. Both groups of languages tend t o mark NP-final position i n NPs containing relative clauses. The languages of Morobe Province, PNGI have postposed r e l a t i v e clauses with markers i n both clause-initial and NP-final position. Section 4.4 evaluates a recent study of bracketed r e l a t i v e clauses i n Tok Pisin and concludes that the kind of relative-clause bracketing described f o r Tok Pisin and the kind t h a t occurs i n the NGO languages of Morobe Province are not parallel i n origin or function.
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