Case Marking and Grammatical Relations in Polynesian

Case Marking and Grammatical Relations in Polynesian

by Sandra Chung


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Case Marking and Grammatical Relations in Polynesian makes an outstanding contribution to both Polynesian and historical linguistics. It is at once a reference work describing Polynesian syntax, an investigation of the role of grammatical relations in syntax, and a discussion of ergativity, case marking, and other areas of syntactic diversity in Polynesian. In its treatment of the history of case marking in Polynesian, it attempts to specify what counts as evidence in syntactic reconstruction and how syntactic reanalysis progresses. It therefore represents a first step toward a general theory of syntactic change.

Chung first describes the basic syntax of the Polynesian languages, discussing Maori, Tongan, Samoan, Kapingamarangi, and Pukapukan in depth. She then presents an investigation of the grammatical relations of these languages and their relevance to syntax and shows that the syntax of all these languages—even those with ergative case marking—revolves around the familiar grammatical relations subject and direct object. Finally the book traces the historical development of the different case systems from their origins in Proto-Polynesian.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292768543
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 10/23/2014
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sandra Chung is Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Abbreviations & Symbols
  • 0. Introduction
    • 0.1. The Polynesian Languages
    • 0.2. Phonological & Morphological Features
  • 1. An Overview of Surface Syntax
    • 1.1. Structure of the Clause
    • 1.2. Structure of the Verb Complex
    • 1.3. Structure of the NP
    • 1.4. Rules Affecting Pronouns
    • Notes
  • 2. The Morphology of Case & Voice
    • 2.1. Case Marking
    • 2.2. The -Cia Suffix: Passive, Transitive, or Perfective?
    • Notes
  • 3. Case Marking & Grammatical Relations
    • 3.1. Two Positions on Case Marking & Syntax
    • 3.2. Subject-Referring Rules: Equi
    • 3.3. Subject-Referring Rules: Raising
    • 3.4. Direct Object-Referring Rules
    • 3.5. Other Major Rules
    • 3.6. Conclusion
    • Notes
  • 4. Case Assignment in the Ergative Languages
    • 4.1. Two Proposals for Case Assignment
    • 4.2. Case Assignment in Middle Clauses
    • 4.3. Some Rules That Are Sensitive to Case Marking
    • 4.4. On the Role of Case Marking in Syntax
    • Notes
  • 5. Previous Approaches to the History of the Case System
    • 5.1. Proto-Polynesian as an Accusative Language
    • 5.2. Proto-Polynesian as an Ergative Language
    • 5.3. Summary
    • Notes
  • 6. The Passive-to-Ergative Reanalysis
    • 6.1. A New Proposal
    • 6.2. On Reconstruction
    • 6.3. Proto-Polynesian *-Cia
    • 6.4. Proto-Polynesian *i
    • 6.5. Proto-Polynesian *e
    • 6.6. The Proto-Polynesian Case System
    • 6.7. The Rise of Ergative Case Marking
    • 6.8. Conclusion
    • Notes
  • 7. Reanalysis & Pukapukan Syntax
    • 7.1. The Passive-to-Ergative Reanalysis
    • 7.2. Pukapukan
    • 7.3. Testing the Prediction
    • 7.4. An Account of the Facts
    • 7.5. Two Further Examples
    • 7.6. Conclusion
    • Notes
  • Appendix A. Orthography
  • Appendix B. Sources
  • Bibliography
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Kenneth Hale

"[This book] is important because of the fact that it comprises one of the most detailed accounts of the functioning principles of grammar from the point of view of the grammatical relations 'subject' and 'object'. . . . an extremely valuable body of empirical data and theoretical argumentation."

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