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Title: Studies in Tokelauan Syntax
Authors: Hooper, Robin Elizabeth
Keywords: Tokelauan - Grammar
Samoic-Outlier Languages
Polynesian Languages
East Fijian-Polynesian Languages
Remote Oceanic Languages
Oceanic Languages
Malayo-Polynesian Languages
Austronesian Languages
Issue Date: 1993
Publisher: University of Auckland
Abstract: This thesis is composed of separate studies of aspects of Tokelauan syntax. They are united by an emphasis on the relation between linguistic forms and communicative functions, and in particular on the semantics and pragmatics of grammatical categories. Chapter 1, 'Outline of the main structures of Tokelauan' forms a background for the more intensive studies of later chapters. After short sections on phonology, morphology and word classes, I describe the composition of noun phrases and verb phrases, the pronoun system, and the internal structure and semantics of nominalisations. The final two sections cover a number of aspects of the structure of the simple sentence, including predicate types, verb classes, and clause types, and review the main types of complex sentence. Chapter 2, ’Tense and aspect', presents a discourse-based analysis of this area of syntax. Section 1 outlines the theoretical basis of the analysis of Tokelauan tense-aspect categories which is presented in the following two sections. I then extend the analysis to a particular discourse type, oral Tokelauan narrative. The final section takes a typological approach, considering whether the particle kua can be regarded as a member of a cross-linguistic category of Perfect. Chapter 3, ‘The discourse functions of focus constructions’, looks at a number of Tokelauan constructions involving clause-initial noun phrases which clearly have the pragmatic force of focusing, but in some of which the distribution of given and new information is not of the expected kind. Since clause-initial noun phrases are used for other discourse functions which can be grouped under the heading of topicalisation, the chapter concludes with some comments on this matter in section 2. Chapter 4, ‘The syntax of complementation’, attempts in the first three sections a comprehensive description of Tokelauan complement types and of the semantic classes of complement-taking predicates. Section 4 is concerned with the syntax and semantics of complementizers, and sections 5 with reduced complements of the kind which have been associated with the terms equi-deletion and raising. The final section assesses the overall nature of the Tokelauan complementation system.
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