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'Realis' and 'irrealis' in Wogeo: A valid category?

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Title:'Realis' and 'irrealis' in Wogeo: A valid category?
Authors:Exter, Mats
Date Issued:20 Dec 2012
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Series:LD&C Special Publication
Abstract:Finite verb forms in Wogeo, an Austronesian language of New Guinea, are obligatorily marked with a portmanteau prefix denoting person and number of the subject on the one hand, and a grammatical category that is conventionally glossed in the literature as realis–irrealis, on the other. In similar languages, the latter category is usually described as modal, with a certain range of meanings which is, in many cases, only vaguely defined. A more in-depth investigation of the verbal system of Wogeo and the functional distribution of the respective categories shows, however, that the language is quite different from a postulated prototypical realis–irrealis language. Central attributes of the supposed realis–irrealis semantics are not realized by the obligatory prefixes but by other morphosyntactic means, while the prefixes are restricted to only a small part of the assumed realis–irrealis domain.
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections: LD&C Special Publication No. 5: Melanesian languages on the edge of Asia: Challenges for the 21st Century

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