- The typology of property words in Oceanic languages
- Volume | Issue number
- 55 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
This paper describes the morphosyntactic behavior of different semantic types of property words in a balanced sample of 36 Oceanic languages. After a brief general introduction to the functional typology of property words, I first discuss diversity in Oceanic property word classes from a family-internal perspective. In the second part of the paper, Oceanic property words are placed in a world-wide typological perspective. Specifically, I test their behavior with regard to two implicational universals proposed in the literature, concerning the relation between the encoding of predicative property words, the presence of grammatical tense, and locus of marking at the clause level. In typological studies, the Oceanic language family has been claimed to display verbal predicative property words, to lack tense, and to be head- or zero-marking, with marginal exceptions. This paper shows that, even though such an overall profile can be discerned, Oceanic property words exhibit more variation than is acknowledged in crosslinguistic research. Moreover, my findings for property word classes are fitted into a larger picture of lexical categorization in Oceanic languages.
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