A Grammar Sketch and Lexicon of Arawak (Lokono Dian)

Statement of Responsibility:
Pet, Willem J. A.
Series:
Series Issue:
30
Date:
2011
Date Created:
1987
Publisher:
SIL International
Publisher Place:
Dallas, Texas
Part Of Series:
SIL e-Books 30
Extent:
243 pages
Abstract:

Arawak (Lokono Dian), an Amerindian language in the Arawakan language family, is relatively undescribed. The purpose of this study is to give a general, bottom-up sketch of Arawak. It starts with comments on the phonology, then discusses morphology and syntax, and ends with comments about discourse.

Typologically, Arawak is primarily a right-branching SVO language with postpositions. Most noun modifiers precede their heads, though heavy relative clauses follow. Question words, relative pronouns, and focused constituents appear at the left periphery of the clause.

Of particular interest is an asymmetry involving the distribution of a dummy verb in WH-movement constructions. Subjects, direct objects, time phrases, and locative phrases may be moved without otherwise affecting the structure of a sentence. Focusing or questioning a manner adverbial, or fronting of a negative verb, however, involves the obligatory insertion of a semantically empty dummy verb as the main verb.

This book is a revision of Lokono Dian: The Arawak Language of Suriname: A Sketch of its Grammatical Structure and Lexicon, the author’s Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, 1987.

Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Suriname
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
asymmetry
dummy verb
WH-movement
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
43236