Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/3946
Title: Spatial Conceptualizations in Kavalan
Authors: Jiang, Haowen
Keywords: Austronesian Languages
Formosan Languages
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: National Taiwan University
Abstract: Spatial reference, spatial concepts, and most importantly spatial conceptualizations have attracted a flurry of research over the past two decades. Spatial language, in particular, provides researchers with an access to the inner world of spatial concepts, which are difficult to investigate by mere observation of other human behaviors. This thesis thus investigates the spatial conceptualizations in Kavalan, and the aim here is twofold. On the one hand, we conduct a detailed investigation of all linguistic means available in Kavalan recruited for spatial reference. It is found that in Kavalan each of the morphosyntatic categories that express spatial meanings has its own interaction patterns with spatial semantic categories such as Path, Region, and Direction. Moreover, what Kavalan speakers need to interpret the local role and localization in a Motion event is normally their spatial knowledge about the canonical interaction between a given pair of Figure and Ground, which helps to “simplify” the coding of linguistic forms. On the other hand, we study the structure of Motion events in narratives by looking into spontaneous speech produced by native speakers. This second perspective further divides into two dimensions. One is concerned with route knowledge as reflected in route instructions, with extra attention paid to the application of Frames of Reference (FoR). Our study shows that Kavalan speakers guide wayfinders en route by appealing largely to the Geocentric FoR (both cardinal directions and the up-down axis), though Viewpoint-centered and Object-centered FoR are also in use. This strategy is due to the nature of the geographical layout of Hsinshê Village, where the west-east axis corresponds to the land-sea and up-down axes while the north-south axis to the up-down axis. Consequently, these overlapping axes in the local environment enhance the prominent status of the Geocentric FoR in route directions. The other dimension focuses on a semantic analysis of the Frog narratives. According to our data, Kavalan must be recognized as a fairly typical verb-framed language on a par with Tagalog and Cebuano, to which Kavalan bears the strongest resemblance in the semantic typology of Motion events in the six Western Austronesian languages investigated in Huang and Tanangkingsing (2005). In addition, the most significant construction type in Kavalan is the “wiya#V” serialization, which not only describes a Figure moving progressively away from the conceptualizer, but can also depict an emerging state of affairs or a continuous activity. Interestingly, the Motion verb wi(ya) ‘leave, disappear’ shares a parallel development of grammaticalization with the Motion verb yau ‘exist, appear’ by uniting place deixis, Motion, and aspect functions, which can be ultimately attributed to the conceptual analogy between space and time.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/3946
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