A grammar of Lha'alua, an Austronesian language of Taiwan

Pan, Chia-Jung (2012) A grammar of Lha'alua, an Austronesian language of Taiwan. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

This thesis is a grammar of Lha'alua (known as Saaroa), an Austronesian language of Taiwan. Lha'alua is spoken in Taoyuan Village and Kaochung Village, Taoyuan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Lha'alua belongs to the morphological type of synthetic-agglutinating; usually a word consists of a largish number of morphemes (roots, affixes and clitics) but by and large morpheme boundaries are clear. The basic constituent order is V(pred)AO, if transitive, or V(pred)S(E), if intransitive. The bound pronoun is a core argument either in S function or in A function, whereas the independent pronoun is either a core argument in S (when topicalized), E, A or O function or a peripheral argument. Prefixation is productive, whereas other affixations are not. Reduplication is widely deployed. The two major word classes are verb and noun, with rich morphology marking. Despite some grammatical distinctions differentiating adjectival elements from dynamic verbs and noun, 'adjective' is not recognisable as an independent word class. Adjectival elements are treated as stative verbs in that they exhibit the same morphosyntactic properties. The basic constituent order is VAO, if transitive, or VS(E), if intransitive. The pronominal system consists of bound pronouns and independent pronouns. The bound pronoun is a core argument in S function or A function, whereas the independent pronoun is a core argument in S (when topicalized), E, A or O function. The bound pronouns can be divided into two sets: nominative pronouns, marking arguments in S function, and genitive pronouns, marking arguments in A function and possessor function. The case system includes core, oblique and genitive. The core case covers arguments in S, A and O functions. The oblique case marks extended arguments (i.e. E function) and peripheral arguments, e.g. location. The genitive case is used to encode possessor function. There are three verbal clause patterns in Lha'alua: (i) Pattern 1: monovalent intransitive clauses, (ii) Pattern 2: bivalent intransitive clauses and (iii) Pattern 3: (a) bivalent transitive clauses and (b) bivalent applicative clauses. (i) and (ii) take Actor voice (AV), marked by um-/<um>/u-/m-/ø-; (iiia) takes patient voice (PV), marked by -a/-ø; (iiib) takes locative voice (LV), marked by -a(na)/-i/-ani. The definiteness effect plays a role in determining the manifestation of voice in an independent clause, and the manifestation of voice in independent clauses plays a role in determining grammatical subjects.

The thesis consists of 10 chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the people, the language, and some ethnographic notes of Lha'alua. Chapter 2 describes phonology and morphophonology. Chapter 3 discusses word classes, including nouns and subclasses of nouns, verbs and subclasses of verbs, adjectives and subclasses of adjectives, numerals, closed classes of shifters, and closed grammatical systems. Chapter 4 deals with morphological units and morphological processes. Chapter 5 describes nominal morphology, including common nouns, kinship terms, person names, family names, locative nouns, and temporal nouns. Chapter 6 describes verbal morphology, including verb classification, non-spatial setting, voice, imperative, negation, third person agreement marking and lexical prefix copying. Chapter 7 addresses transitivity and grammatical relations, including constituent order, construction markers, personal pronouns and agreement forms. Chapter 8 discusses clause types, including independent clauses (verbal, nominal, existential, possessive, and locative) and dependent clauses (relative, adverbial, and complementation strategies). Chapter 9 deals with speech act distinctions, including interrogative, imperative, and declarative sentences. Chapter 10 addresses numerals and the counting system.

Item ID: 32386
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Austronesian languages; Formosan languages; grammar; language obsolescence
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 05:46
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950202 Languages and Literacy @ 100%
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