Agreement in Mawng: productive and lexicalised uses of by Ruth Singer

By Ruth Singer

The use of grammatical gender within the Australian language Mawng calls into query winning rules concerning the capabilities of nominal category structures. Mawng’s gender process has a robust semantic foundation and performs a massive function within the development of which means in discourse. Gender contract in verbs is often lexicalized, developing idioms known as lexicalised contract verbs which are structurally just like noun-verb idioms. This booklet might be of curiosity to an individual attracted to nominal type or cross-linguistic methods to idioms.

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Additional info for Agreement in Mawng: productive and lexicalised uses of agreement in an Australian language

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Thus it is the Land form of the demonstrative which is used with prefixed body part nouns possessed by first and second persons25 like -yigi 'tooth' in (2-33) and (2-34). (2-33) Tuka ta nga-yigi nganng-arajpu-n. pain-NP This tooth of mine is hurting. LL ART nuyi nu-jigi k-an-maju-ø. 2sg 2sg-tooth PR-2sg-sick-NP This tooth of yours is aching. RS Elic1: 2 The proximal and distal demonstratives are used not only with spatial reference but also with discourse reference to refer to given referents. For example nuka in (2-35) below refers back to a participant introduced in the previous sentence.

It is typical for free pronouns in languages with verbal cross-referencing of arguments to have an emphatic function (Schwartz 1986). Mawng has two series of free pronouns. The cardinal pronoun gives a 'light' emphasis whereas the contrastive pronoun is used for strong emphasis or contrast. Oblique pronouns never constitute an NP on their own but can only be used as part of NP with other nominals or as part of the verb complex. 1 Cardinal pronouns Cardinal pronouns are the most common type of pronoun in discourse.

In addition to the skin names, many triangular kinship terms also take the na-/ngal- prefix set7. Nominal prefixes may have a derivational function, agree with the head of their NP, agree with their possessor or be lexicalised - in which case they are best not analysed as prefixes synchronically. There is never any difference in the gender encoded by a productive nominal prefix and the agreement class of the noun in Mawng as found in many Gunwinyguan languages and thus no need to postulate separate systems of head and agreement classes for nominals (Evans et al.

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