Preverbal particles in pingelapese : a language of Micronesia

Hattori, Ryoko
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2012]
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This dissertation presents a synchronic and diachronic study of Pingelapese pronouns and auxiliary verbs--ae, e, aen, and en. Synchronically, Pingelapese employs subject pronominal clitics, not subject agreement markers, unlike Proto-Micronesian and many other contemporary Micronesian languages. Pingelapese also possesses auxiliary verbs that express evidentiality--the speaker's degree of certainty about propositions (ae for low certainty and e for high certainty)--as well as inchoative meaning (-n). The combination of evidentiality and inchoative auxiliary verbs yields a realis-irrealis contrast. Comparison with other Micronesian languages reveals that marking evidentiality in this way is unique to Pingelapese. These subject pronouns and auxiliary verbs together compose pronoun-auxiliary complexes. A diachronic study concludes that the root vowel of Proto-Micronesian subject agreement markers was leveled into a uniform vowel ae in Pohnpeic languages. This root vowel ae was innovatively reanalyzed as a low-evidentiality marker, which was accompanied by the development of a high-evidentiality marker e, in the history of Pingelapese. The development of the high-evidentiality marker e from the leveled root vowel ae was achieved through the merger of a following hypothetical high front vowel particle *i (with the high certainty meaning), vowel height assimilation, and final vowel deletion. In contrast, the inchoative morpheme-n of aen and en has a cognate in all Micronesian languages, descending from the Proto-Micronesian "immediateness marker" Along with the reanalysis of the root vowel of Proto-Micronesian subject agreement markers into evidential markers, the pre-root vowel parts have turned into subject pronominal clitics: s-'1dual/pl exclusive', k-'2sg', Ø-'3sg', r-'3dual/pl'. The Pingelapese stand-alone auxiliary verbs developed by extracting ae, aen, e, and en from the subject pronoun-auxiliary complexes, leaving the person/number morphemes behind.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Pingelapese, Micronesia, evidentiality, pronouns
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Linguistics.
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