A Sketch Grammar of Tindal Dusun

Robinson, Laura C.
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University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics
This article attempts to give a broad overview of the synchronic grammar of Tindal Dusun, a language spoken in Sabah, Borneo (Malaysia), with occasional reference to historical data where relevant. Phonologically, Tindal has a constraint on vowel combinations within a word, which has been discussed in other Dusunic languages as “vowel harmony” (Kroeger 1992, Hurlbut 1981, Harris and Chapple 1993, Boutin 1993), and this constraint is examined in some detail here. Moreover, the language is moving from a four-vowel system to a symmetrical five-vowel system, with the introduction of a mid-front vowel [..]. The phonological and sociological conditions for this switch are addressed. Syntactically, Tindal has the remnants of a Philippine-type focus system, and this system will be explored with numerous examples. Finally, the language is quite complex morphologically. This paper gives a brief description of every affix known to the author, with a more extensive discussion of the most common affixes.
Robinson, Laura C. 2005. A Sketch Grammar of Tindal Dusun. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Working Papers in Linguistics 36(5).
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