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Kayardild Morphology and Syntax

ISBN: 9780199654871 | 0199654875
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Pub. Date: 2/7/2013

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This book presents new data and a formal analysis of the inflectional system and syntax of Kayardild, a typologically striking language of Northern Australia. It sets forth arguments for recognizing an intricate syntactic structure that underlies the exuberant distribution of inflectional features throughout the clause, and for an intermediate, 'morphomic' level of representation that mediates morphosyntactic features' realization as morphological forms. The book differs from existing treatments of Kayardild in unifying the explanation of shared morphological exponents, positing a detailed, empirically-grounded underlying syntax, identifying new clausal and nominal structures, simplifying the analysis of Kayardild's dual tense system, rejecting an analysis according to which some case markers are morphologically 'verbalizing' and some tense markers 'nominalizing', and arguing that upper bounds on syntactic complexity are inherently syntactic rather than derivative of constraints on morphology. Analyses are expressed formally in terms of syntactic structures and morphosyntactic features which will be interpretable to a broad range of theories. Early chapters provide overviews of Kayardild phonology and morphological structure in general, and a final chapter implements the analysis in constraint-based grammar. Example sentences are glossed across four or five lines, furnishing explicit analyses at multiple levels of representation, and an appendix gathers over one hundred examples sentences to provide large-scale empirical support for the syntactic analysis of tense inflection.


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