Abstract

In Walman, a language in the Torricelli family spoken in Papua New Guinea, there are two words that have the function of conjoining noun phrases but that have the morphology of transitive verbs, exhibiting subject agreement with the first conjunct and object agreement with the second conjunct. We discuss two interrelated issues concerning these words: (i) Do these words behave syntactically like conjunctions in other languages, in combining with two noun phrases to form a single noun phrase, or are they really just verbs in a serial verb construction?, and (ii) Do these words have a meaning that is closer to a coordinative conjunction like and in English, or do they have a comitative meaning like English with? We show that the evidence on the first of these questions is somewhat contradictory, but that even in cases where the syntactic evidence argues that these verbs do not combine with two noun phrases to form a single noun phrase, they still have a meaning closer to that of and than of with.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 528-565
Launched on MUSE
2008-10-04
Open Access
No
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