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A Brief Syntactic Typology of Philippine Languages

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Title: A Brief Syntactic Typology of Philippine Languages
Authors: Reid, Lawrence A.
Liao, Hsiu-Chuan
Keywords: Morphosyntactic typology
LC Subject Headings: Austronesian languages
Philippine languages
Grammar, Comparative and general--Morphosyntax
Issue Date: 2004
Citation: Reid, Lawrence and Hsiu-Chuan Liao. "A Brief Syntactic Typology of Philippine Languages." Language and Linguistics 5, no. 2 (2004): 433-490.
Series/Report no.: Language and Linguistics
vol. 5
no. 2
Abstract: This paper is a brief statement of the typological characteristics of the syntactic structures of Philippine languages. It utilizes a lexicalist theoretical framework to provide comparability among the examples cited. The word order of both verbal and non-verbal predicational sentences is examined, with pronominal and nonpronominal complements, topicalization, and auxiliary verbs. Philippine languages are analyzed as morphologically ergative. The morphological criteria for determining the syntactic transitivity of verbal sentences is examined, concluding that verbal affixation alone is an insufficient criterion. Attention is paid to the notion of "focus", with rejection of the concept of "voice” as an explanation for the phenomenon. The various forms of syntactically transitive verbs that have been described by others, for example, as signaling agreement with the Nominative NP, are here described as carrying semantic features, marking the manner of their instantiation with reference to the Nominative NP. The structure of noun phrases is examined. Morphological case marking of NPs by Determiners is claimed for Genitive, Locative, and for some languages, Oblique NPs, but it is claimed that for most languages, Nominative full NPs are case marked only by word order. Semantic agreement features distinguishing forms of Determiners for common vs. personal, definiteness, specificity, spatial reference, and plurality of their head nouns are described. Relative clause formation strategies are described. Most are head-initial, with gapping of the Nominative NP. "Adjectives” in NP’s are typically relative clauses having stative verbs as predicates.
Pages/Duration: 46 pages
Appears in Collections:Lawrence A. Reid: Articles, Monographs, Book Chapters

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