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Title: Grammar Notes on Siraya, an Extinct Formosan Language
Authors: Adelaar, K. Alexander
Keywords: Extinct West Formosan Language - Grammar
Austronesian Languages
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Abstract: This is an attempt to unravel the grammar of a gospel text in Siraya, an extinct West Formosan language. It includes a discussion of the historical setting, the spelling, phonological features, function words, relation markers, morphosyntax of the verb, and the use of deictic verbs as prepositions. Regarding verbal morphosyntax, special attention is given to case marking suffixes, verbal classifiers, compound verbs, and anticipating sequences. Verbal classifiers are lexical elements prefixed to a root (a verb, adverb, or noun) with which they constitute the overall meaning of the resulting verb (mattdy- 'talking, saying' + vli 're- ciprocating, doing in return'-< mattdy-vili 'to answer'; mattdy- + rx 'mind' -X mattdy-rtx 'talk to oneself'). Compound verb constructions are constructions in which auxiliaries assume the functions of adverbs in English. These auxiliaries form an open class and are in fact the head of the verb phrase, as they carry most of the marking. An anticipating sequence is an element of a verb that is prefixed to the preceding auxiliary.
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