Tid: Fredag 11 maj kl. 13:00
Plats: Hörsal D7, Frescati, Södra huset, plan 3.

Short abstract

This study investigates combined clause constructions for ten distinct semantic relations in a cross-section of Austronesian languages. The semantic relations are of a temporal or co-varying nature, the former commonly expressed in English by such markers as when, then, until, etc. and the latter by if, so, because, etc. The research falls into three main domains.

First, the study provides an overview of the semantics of the relevant relations in the Austronesian languages. Several subdistinctions are found to be made within the semantic relations investigated. The study also explores polysemic relation markers, and a number of patterns are identified. The single most common pattern is the overlap between open conditional and non-past co-occurrence relations, for which many Austronesian languages employ the same relation marker.

Second, the study develops a morpho-syntactic typology of Austronesian clause combining based on three parameters related to features common to clause combining constructions. The typology divides the constructions into five different types that are ranked with regard to structural tightness. Some constructions, cutting across several types, are also discussed; in particular, asymmetric coordination, which involves the use of a coordinator to connect a fronted topicalized adverbial clause to the rest of the sentence.

Finally, the study explores the distributional patterns of the morpho-syntactic types across the semantic relations, as well as across three geographical areas in the Austronesian region. In the former case, a clear correlation is found between posteriority and result relations on the one hand and looser structural types on the other. The distribution of types across Austronesian macro-regions revealed few differences between the areas, although two tendencies could be detected: the Oceanic languages tend to employ slightly looser morpho-syntax, while the Formosan and Philippine languages employ slightly tighter morpho-syntax.

Opponent är Isabelle Bril, CNRS i Paris, Frankrike.

I betygsnämnden sitter Arthur Holmer, Lingvistik, Språk- och litteraturcentrum vid Lunds universitet, Cecilia Falk, Institutionen för nordiska språk, Stockholms universitet samt Berhard Wälchli, Institutionen för lingvstik, Stockholms universitet.


Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm