On the Subject of Samoan: an absolutive answer

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dc.contributor.author Charters, Areta en
dc.coverage.spatial Auckland en
dc.date.accessioned 2011-11-24T19:35:01Z en
dc.date.issued 2010 en
dc.identifier.citation Cool8 - The Eighth International Conference on Oceanic Linguistics, Auckland, 04 Jan 2010 - 09 Jan 2010. 2010 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/9543 en
dc.description.abstract On the Subject of Samoan: an absolutive answer Samoan is known to have ergative case-marking, but the identification of the syntactic Subject in Samoan is a matter of dispute. On the basis of ellipsis in co-ordinated clauses Mosel and Hovdhaugen (1992) argue that Samoan has neither an A-S nor an O-S pivot and ‘neither the absolutive argument nor the ergative argument represents a grammaticalised topic’ (Mosel and Hovdhaugen, 1992:705). This amounts to saying that Samoan has no syntactic Subject. On the other hand, Cook (1991) claims that a wider range of data – derived from Keenan’s tests for Subjecthood (Keenan, 1976) - indicate that Samoan is syntactically accusative, and the NP closest to the verb is the Subject regardless of its case-marking. This paper reviews the same tests in the light of Manning (1996) who divides Keenan’s tests into those that reflect semantic subjecthood and those that reflect syntactic subjecthood. It concludes that Samoan is syntactically ergative and identifies the absolutive argument as the Subject. It then shows how LFG’s Lexical Mapping Theory (Bresnan, 2001) can account simply for the mapping of the Subject GF to a variety of thematic roles in the various valency alternations for each of the Samoan verb classes proposed by Mosel and Hovdhaugen (1992). Bresnan, Joan. 2001. Lexical Functional Syntax. Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics. Malden, Mass: Blackwell. Cook, K. W. 1991. The search for subject in Samoan. In R. Blust (Ed.), Currents in Pacific Linguistics: papers on Austronesian languages and ethno-linguistics in honour of George W. Grace, Pacific Linguistics, C-117, 77-98. Canberra: Research School of Pacific Studies, A.N.U. Keenan, E. L. 1976. Towards a Universal definition of “subject” In Charles N. Li (Ed) Subject and Topic ,303-333 New York: Academic Press. Manning, Christopher D. 1996. Ergativity: Argument Structure and Grammatical Relations Dissertations in Linguistics. Stanford, California: CSLI Publications Mosel, Ulrike and Even Hovdhaugen. 1992. Samoan Reference Grammar. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press. en
dc.relation.ispartof Cool8 - The Eighth International Conference on Oceanic Linguistics en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title On the Subject of Samoan: an absolutive answer en
dc.type Presentation en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.author-url http://www.confer.co.nz/cool8/programme.html en
pubs.finish-date 2010-01-09 en
pubs.start-date 2010-01-04 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Conference Oral Presentation en
pubs.elements-id 191886 en
pubs.org-id Arts en
pubs.org-id Cultures, Languages & Linguist en
pubs.org-id App Lang Studies & Linguistics en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2010-12-06 en

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