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The recipient construction in Naxi

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Item Summary

Title:The recipient construction in Naxi
Authors:Lu, Jung-yao
Keywords:Naxi language -- Syntax
Naxi language -- Semantics
Naxi language -- Verb
Date Issued:2005
Abstract:This thesis focuses on describing the recipient construction of Naxi, a minority language spoken in the Naxi autonomous county in the northwestern Yunnan province of China. The Naxi language belongs to the Yi language branch of the Tibeto-Burman language family. It has been a matter of great importance to document Naxi in its entirety because it is seriously endangered.

This thesis is very special for the following two reasons. First, unlike most of the other subfields of linguistics, studying the grammar of an undocumented language cannot be done in a comfortable research room or in a library; it must be done in the field. Most of the Naxi data provided in this thesis were gathered directly from native speakers in the field. Second, this thesis not only provides a basic grammatical description of the recipient construction in the Naxi language, but it also includes pioneering.

The basic grammar is introduced in Chapter 2 before discussing the recipient construction. In our analysis, Naxi is an ergative language involving an active case marking system. Furthermore, Naxi is traditionally classified as an SOY or APV/SV language; however, certain traits show that it could be considered a 'free word order' language. We also found that structural topicalization in Naxi only occurs in the triadic constructions, including the instrumental construction, the benefactive construction, and the recipient construction.

In this thesis, the recipient construction is defined as "the triadic construction which involves the thematic role-recipient". The recipient construction in Naxi consists of three different patterns: the ditransitive construction (or double object construction), the dative construction, and the GIVE serial verb construction. Each of them contains three NPs: an agentive subject, a theme-object, and a recipient-object. We further discuss the verbs which occur in the recipient construction. We found that ditransitive verbs occur much less frequently in Naxi than do dative verbs or GIVE serial verbs. In addition, the semantic classifications among the ditransitive verbs, the dative verbs, and the GIVE serial verbs are different from one another. Those discussions are treated in Chapter 3, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5, respectively.

In this study, we also found an argument concerning the constituent 'verb-GIVE', mentioned in the last chapter. Some examples related to the syntactic property of the 'verb-GIVE' sequences in the ditransitive construction and the dative construction will be discussed briefly. It is doubtless that the 'verb-GIVE' sequence could be identified as either a serial verb pattern or a compound verb. However, a reasonable judgment will not be made in this thesis; this question is open to discussion.
Description:Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2005.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 120-127).
xiii, 127 leaves, bound 29 cm
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Linguistics

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