Semantics of Sa'a transitive suffixes and thematic consonants

In the Sa'a language of the Solomon Islands, the transitive form of some verbs is made by adding only an object clitic. Other verbs add a transitive suffix of the form -(C)i before the object clitic. Some verbs form a second intransitive by adding -(C)a'i and a second transitive with -(C)a'ini plus object clitic. Most verbs may also be nominalized by adding -(C)a. These patterns of affixation are shared by many Oceanic languages. In each of these forms the -C is chosen from a limited set, known in the literature as the thematic consonants. Most Oceanic analysts consider the consonants to be lexically determined and meaningless, although a few identify semantic groups of verbs which tend to share a consonant. This thesis presents several semantic features, instigation, affectedness, intentionality, durativity, telicity, and result, which interact to control the choice of consonant and suffix for Sa'a verbs and deverbal nouns.
274 pages
Table of Contents:
Table of contents Dedication vii Acknowledgements viii List of tables xii List of maps and figures xiv Abbreviations and other conventions xv 1. Introduction 1; 1.1 Overview of thesis 1; 1.2 Geography 4; 1.3 Language family 7; 1.4 History of linguistic study 9; 1.5 Detailed preview of thesis 11; 1.6 Data corpus description 12; 2. Phonology 15; 2.1 Phoneme inventory and orthographic conventions 15; 2.2 Vowel raising 20; 2.3 Syllable and stress patterns 22; 3. General features of Sa'a morphosyntax 25; 3.1 Basic clause structure 25; 3.2 Noun phrases and their constituents 29; 3.2.1 Pronominal elements 29; 3.2.2 Nouns 42; 3.2.3 Noun phrase constituents other than the noun 43; 3.3 Prepositional Phrases 56; 3.4 Verb phrase constituents other than the verb word 61; 3.4.1 TAM particles 61; 3.4.2 Adverbs 65; 3.4.3 Noun phrases referring to a direct object 67; 3.5 Clause order and topicalization 69; 4. Verb morphology 74; 4.1 Verbal affixes 75; 4.2 Literature review 83; 4.3 Relevant semantic concepts 96; 4.4 The typology applied to Sa'a: patterns of the ( C) i suffix sequence 113; 4.5 The meaning of the ‘thematic consonant’ suffixes 128; 4.5.1 The thematic consonant suffixes in other environments 142; 4.5.2 The thematic consonant suffixes in verbal environments 162; 4.5.3 The function of the ( C) a ' i( n i) sequence 189; 4.6 Further complexity involving derived verbs 200; 4.7 Summary 202; 5. Applications beyond Sa'a 204; 5.1 Thematic consonant meanings in other Oceanic languages 204; 5.2 The meanings of the Sa'a thematic consonants m and r 220; 5.3 The ( C) i sequence in other Oceanic languages 221; 5.3.1 Lexical, phonological, or semantic control? 221; 5.3.2 Verbs which do not fit the A-verb/O-verb dichotomy 223; 5.4 Extending the feature-based event structure template model 230; 5.5 Concluding remarks 233; Appendix A. Person-number markers and grammatical relations 234; Appendix B. Infrequent clause templates 240; References Cited 248; Vita for Karen Crowder Ashley 252
thematic consonants
Oceanic language
Solomon Islands
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