Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4656
Title: Verb-Final Typology
Authors: Ogihara, Saeko
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: University of Colorado
Abstract: This dissertation is a typological study of verb-final languages, the purpose of which is to examine various grammatical phenomena in verb-final languages to discover whether there are correlations between the final position of the verb and other aspects of grammar. It examines how finality of the verb interacts with argument coding in simple sentences, formations of relative clauses and complement clauses. It attempts to explain why verb-final languages utilize particular grammatical structures rather than other possible grammatical structures. The study is based on 83 verb-final languages which were chosen from various language families and linguistic areas.The analysis identified several distinct patterns in coding arguments in simple sentences in verb-final languages: (i) the tendency to lack accusative case markers in nominative-accusative languages that code the roles of arguments exclusively through nominal inflections; (ii) the existence of a morphological marking for an argument farther from the verb (A argument), but absence of any morphological marker for an argument closer to the verb (O argument); (iv) the existence of nominal inflection on S and O arguments and absence of any morphological marker for the A argument in ergative-absolutive languages. The current study focuses on the existence and absence of complementizers in complement clause constructions, and their positions within complement clauses. It argues that some verb-final languages do not use complementizers because verbs themselves may function as clause boundaries without complementizers. It also argues that when verb-final languages employ complementizers, they often function as modal markers. Finally, the study finds that in relative clause construction, both prenominal and postnominal relative clauses are common in verb-final languages. However, when verbfinal languages code the roles of arguments explicitly through NPs (noun-coding verb-final languages), they tend to employ prenominal relative clauses unless they employ a pronoun strategy. Chapter 6 argues that this is because argument assignment is difficult when nouncoding verb-final languages employ postnominal relative clauses.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4656
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