Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar

The Choctaw language, indigenous to the southeastern United States, now with its greatest concentrations ofspeakers in Missis sippi, Oklahoma, and Los Angeles, has in the main escaped the scrutinyoftheoreticallinguistics.


Author: William D. Davies

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789400945302

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 202

View: 867

The Choctaw language, indigenous to the southeastern United States, now with its greatest concentrations ofspeakers in Missis sippi, Oklahoma, and Los Angeles, has in the main escaped the scrutinyoftheoreticallinguistics. ItisnotthatChoctaw isanintrin sicallyuninterestinglanguage- aquickglanceataclausewithfive agreement controllers and a mismatch between the caseofafree standingnominaland its agreement affix should dispelthat notion. Rather it is, I think, the question of what we can learn from a languageinwhichNPsdon'tmovearound, "WHs"don'tfront, and gaps simply arise from pronominalization. My hope is that the presentvolume, takentogetherwithagrowingliteraturespurredon by the workofPamMunro and her students atUCLA, will bring Choctawintothelightofdayand into the circleoflanguagescon sidered when constructing theories that define "possible human language". Thepresentstudy, arevisionofmy 1981dissertation(University ofCalifornia, SanDiego), focusesfirstandforemostontheChoctaw agreementsystem, takingthisasthekeytothestructureofChoctaw syntax. The immediate goal, then, is to provide a unified account ofthestructures and rules underlyingtheagreement system. Along the way a rangeofgrammatical phenomena is examined, taken as evidence for particular structural configurations, and incorporated into awell-integratedaccountofmorphologicaland syntacticfacts. The resultsbearon anumber ofcurrent issues, includingthe Un accusative Hypothesis, the existence of demotions, the nature of antipassive, disjunctive rule application, universals of causative constructions, and others. For these reasons Choctawdeserves the scrutinyoftheoreticians. The data forming the corpus for analysis represent a variety of Oklahoma Choctaw. They were collected from a nativespeaker in San Diego between 1978 and 1982 and from various speakers in Oklahoma during two extended visits to Broken Bow in 1980. I lX PREFACE x wishtothankthespeakerswhohelpedmebysharingtheirlanguage andencouragingmystudies. MyworkonChoctawwassupportedin partbyfundsfrom theNationalScienceFoundation(throughgrant numberBNS78-17498totheUniversityofCalifornia, SanDiego), theAmericanPhilosophicalSociety(throughaPhillipsFundgrant), andtheDepartmentofLinguisticsatUCSD.

A Choctaw Reference Grammar

1986 Choctaw verb agreement and universal grammar. Dordrecht: Reidel. Debo, Angie 1961 The rise and fall of the Choctaw republic. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Derrick-Mescua, Maria 1980 A phonology and morphology of Mikasuki.


Author: George Aaron Broadwell

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 9780803213159

Category: Social Science

Page: 375

View: 699

The authoritative reference on the grammar of the Choctaw language, written and compiled by its leading scholarly expert.

Relational Grammar

Davies, W. (1986) Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar, Dordrecht: Reidel. Davies, W. (1987) 'Lexically governed rules and extended valence', typescript, University of Iowa.


Author: Barry Blake

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134947140

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 212

View: 694

Well-presented and accessible, this is the first book that describes this theory's basic ideas, evaluates them and compares them with other approaches in other theories.

Anaphora in Celtic and Universal Grammar

Managing Editors JOAN MALING and LUIGI RIZZI Luigi Burzio, Italian Syntax: A Government-Binding Approach, xiii + 468 pp., 1986. William D. Davies, Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar. xi + 202 pp., 1986. Katalin £.


Author: R. Hendrick

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789400927193

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 285

View: 739

This book is based in large part on fieldwork that I conducted in Brittany and Wales in 1983 and 1985. I am thankful for a Fulbright Award for Research in Western Europe and a Faculty Development Award from the University of North Carolina that funded that fieldwork. lowe a less tangible, but no less real, debt to Steve Anderson, G. M. Awbery, Steve Harlow and Jim McCloskey whose work initially sparked my interest, and led me to undertake this project. I want to thank Joe Emonds and Alec Marantz who read portions of Chapter 3 and 5. I am particularly grateful though to Kathleen Flanagan, Frank Heny and two anonymous referees who read a dyslexic and schizophrenic manuscript, providing me with criticisms that improved this final version considerably. The Welsh nationalist community in Aberstwyth and its Breton coun terpart in Quimper helped make the time I spent in Wales and Brittany productive. I am indebted to Thomas Davies, Partick Favreau, Lukian Kergoat, Sue Rhys, John Williams and Beatrice among others for sharing their knowledge of their languages with me. Catrin Davies and Martial Menard were especially patient and helpful. Without their assistance this work would have been infinitely poorer. I am hopeful that this book will help stimulate more interest in the Celtic languages and culture, and assist, even in a small way, those in Wales and Brittany who struggle to keep their language and culture strong.

The Routledge Handbook of North American Languages

Choctaw verb agreement and universal grammar. Dordrecht: Reidel. Davis, Philip & Hardy, Heather. 1984. Nominal-sentential morphology in Alabama. Southwest Journal of Linguistics 7.87–101. Drechsel, Emmanuel. 1997.


Author: Daniel Siddiqi

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351810272

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 598

View: 889

The Routledge Handbook of North American Languages is a one-stop reference for linguists on those topics that come up the most frequently in the study of the languages of North America (including Mexico). This handbook compiles a list of contributors from across many different theories and at different stages of their careers, all of whom are well-known experts in North American languages. The volume comprises two distinct parts: the first surveys some of the phenomena most frequently discussed in the study of North American languages, and the second surveys some of the most frequently discussed language families of North America. The consistent goal of each contribution is to couch the content of the chapter in contemporary theory so that the information is maximally relevant and accessible for a wide range of audiences, including graduate students and young new scholars, and even senior scholars who are looking for a crash course in the topics. Empirically driven chapters provide fundamental knowledge needed to participate in contemporary theoretical discussions of these languages, making this handbook an indispensable resource for linguistics scholars.

Masked Inversion in French

Choctaw Clause Structure . ” Ph.D. diss . , University of California at San Diego , La Jolla , California ; a revised version is published as Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar , Dordrecht , Holland : D. Reidel , 1986 . - .


Author: Paul M. Postal

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226675696

Category: Foreign Language Study

Page: 156

View: 197

In this important work of linguistic analysis, Paul M. Postal addresses a paradigm anomaly in French that has hitherto resisted explanation. A general restriction limiting the form of direct objects in complex infinitival constructions with main verbs like faire fails to hold with certain subordinate verbs, especially connaître. Marshaling extensive evidence, Postal argues that this apparent irregularity is a symptom of a deeper regularity. Rather than being an ordinary transitive complement, the subordinate clause in these cases is actually an Inversion structure, one in which the logical subject demotes to indirect object. However, since this demotion induces no word order change or other direct morphological consequences, the inversion is "masked," and revealed only by several types of apparent anomalies. This analysis has significant consequences for contemporary syntactic theories. First, the arguments support the view that a sentence's superficial structure cannot be identified with its syntactic structure, even though such an identification is a fundamental assumption of several currently influential grammatical frameworks. Second, even certain theories that do posit abstract aspects of grammatical form fail to allow for the needed Inversion structures. Postal's study supports theories based on the notion of arc and stratification into levels which provide a natural treatment consistent with the factual requirements. Masked Inversion in French is the first systematic account of this puzzling French syntactic anomaly, and its findings will stimulate research in many areas of natural language grammatical structure.

External Possession

18 It is probably significant that the EP constructions in Choctaw and Southern Tiwa use the dative agreement set to index the possessor on ... “The Major Functions of the Noun Phrase. ... Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar.


Author: Doris L. Payne

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing

ISBN: 9789027298607

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 573

View: 858

External Possession Constructions (EPCs) are found in nearly all parts of the world and across widely divergent language families. The data-rich papers in this first-ever volume on EPCs document their typological variability, explore diachronic reasons for variations, and investigate their functions and theoretical ramifications. EPCs code the possessor as a core grammatical relation of the verb and in a constituent separate from that which contains the possessed item. Though EPCs express possession, they do so without the necessary involvement of a possessive predicate such as “have” or “own”. In many cases, EPCs appear to “break the rules” about how many arguments a verb of a given valence can have. They thus constitute an important limiting case for evaluating theories of the relationship between verbal argument structure and syntactic clause structure. They also raise core questions about intersections among verbal valence, cognitive event construal, voice, and language processing.

Cases and Thematic Roles

Croft, William (1988): Agreement vs. case marking and direct objects. In: Barlow M.,~'Ferguson, Ch. A. (eds.). ... (1991): Syntactic categories and grammatical relations. ... (1986): Choctaw verb agreement and universal grammar.


Author: Beatrice Primus

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 9783110912463

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 296

View: 898

This study examines the mapping of thematic roles, such as agent and patient, onto syntactic cases, such as nominative or ergative, or onto structural relations in a cross-linguistic survey that is supplemented with German data. It is shown that cases and structural relations code different aspects of thematic structure and that cases cannot be derived from structural relations in universal grammar. The phenomena that characterize ergative and active languages are shown to be restricted to case mapping.

The Joy of Grammar

Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar. Dordrecht: D. Reidel. Durie, Mark. 1988. "The So-called Passive of Achenese." Language 64:104-13. Fillmore, Charles J. 1968. "The Case for Case." In Emmon Bach and Robert T. Harms, eds., ...


Author: Diane Brentari

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing

ISBN: 9789027274069

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 400

View: 298

Two threads run through this collection of 22 papers by students and colleagues of James D. McCawley. The first is a commitment to deep reflection on the direction of linguistic study, sometimes resulting in challenges to the writings of major figures or new appreciations, sometimes questioning our assumptions about the organization of linguistic information in the mind. The second thread is a shared sense of the requirements for the rigor of a good linguistic argument, that its presentation be thoroughgoing, straightforward and clearly made. There is a strong emphasis on testing the “party line” with the widest possible range of languages and the strongest possible set of linguistic tests. Demonstrating bugs and strategizing over the choice between competing analyses is not enough. The completion of an argument lies in constructing a better alternative.


Causatives and universal grammar ' , TPS for 1974 , 1–32 . 1976. Aspect . ... Ergativity and grammatical relations in Kalaw Lagaw Ya ( Saibai dialect ) , AJL , 1.1-42 . 1982a . ... Choctaw verb agreement and universal grammar .


Author: Robert M W Dixon

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521448980

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 271

View: 841

This book provides a full survey of the various types of ergativity, looking at the ways they interrelate, their semantic bases and their role in the organisation of discourse.