- English (4) (remove)
- Possessive constructions in Tolai (1982)
- Possessive constructions are grammatical constructions which contain two nominals and express that the referent of one of these nominals belongs to the other. The kind of relationship denoted by possessive constructions is not only that of ownership (1), as the term "possessive" might suggest, but also that of kinship (2), bodypart relationship (3), part/whole relationship (4) and similar relationships [...]. The following investigation will start with possessive constructions on phrase level, i.e. possessive phrases, and then deal with possessive constructions on clause level.
- Adnominal and predicative possessive constructions in Melanesian languages (1983)
- According to the present state of research, there seems to be no language which shows possessive classifiers and possessive verbs corresponding to English "to have" at the same time. In classifier languages predicative possession is expressed by verbless clauses, i.e. by existential clauses ("there is my possessed item"), equative clauses ("the possessed item is mine" "that is my possessed item") or by locative expressions ("the possessed item is near me"), in which the classifier in the case of non-inherent possession marks the nature of the relationship. While most Melanesian languages, as for instance Fijian, Lenakel, Pala and Tolai are classifier languages, Nguna, a Melanesian language spoken in Vanuatu, only shows traces of the Melanesian possessive classifier system, but, in contrast to the other Melanesian languages, it has a possessive verb, namely 'peani' "to have". In order to show how the Nguna possessive constructions deviate from the common Melanesian type, we shall start with a brief description of the Melanesian possessive constructions in general, and that of Fijian in particular.
- Towards a typology of valency (1984)
- Grammatical relations, particularly the notions of transitivity, case marking, ergativity, passive and antipassive have been a favourite subject of typological research during the last decade, but surprisingly, the notion of valency has been of marginal interest in cross-linguistic studies, though the syntactic and semantic status of participants is, to a great extent, determined by the relational properties of the verb. Valency is the property of the verb which determines the obligatory and optional number of its participants, their morphosyntactic form, their semantic class membership (e.g. ± animate, ± human) ,and their semantic role (e.g. agent, patient, recipient). The valency inherently gives information on the nature of the semantic and syntactic relations that hold between the verb and its participants. If a verb is combined with more participants than allowed or less than required, or if the participants do not show the required morphosyntactic form or class membership, the clause is ungrammatical. In other words, it is not sufficient to consider only the number of actants as a matter of valency, but it is only acceptable if all semantic and morphosyntactic properties of the relation between a verb and its participants that are predictable from the verb are included. The predictability of these properties results from their inherent givenness, and it does not seem reasonable to count some inherently given relational properties as a matter of valency, but not others (compare Helbig (1971:38f) and Heidolph et ale (1981:479) who distinguish between the quantitative, syntactic and semantic aspect of valency).
- Ergativity in Samoan (1985)
- Most typological and language specific studies on so- called ergative languages are concerned with case marking patterns, particularly split ergativity, with the organization of syntactic relations as defined by syntactic operations such as coreferential deletion across coordinate conjunctions, Equi-NP-deletion and relativization , and with the notion of subject, but usually neglect the notion of valency, though the inherent relational properties of the verb , i. e. valency, play a fundamental role in the syntactic organization of sentences in ergative as well as in other languages . The following investigation of ergativity in Samoan aims to integrate the notion of valency into the description of semantic and syntactic relations and to outline the characteristic features of Samoan verbal clauses as far as they seem to be relevant to recent and still ongoing discussions on linguistic typology and syntactic theory. The main points of the definition of valency […] are: Valency is the property of the verb which determines the obligatory and optional number of its participants, their morphosyntactic form, their semantic class membership (e.g. ± animate, ± human) , and their semantic role (e.g. agent , patient , recipient). All semantic properties and morphosyntactic properties of participants not inherently given by the verb and therefore not predictable from the verb, are not a matter of valency. Valency is not a homogenous property of the verb, but consists of several exponents which show varying degress of relevance in different languages or different verb classes within a single language.