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Kokota Grammar

Bill Palmer

Publication Year: 2009

This work describes the grammar of Kokota, a highly endangered Oceanic language of the Solomon Islands, spoken by about nine hundred people on the island of Santa Isabel. After several long periods among the Kokota, Dr. Palmer has written an unusually detailed and comprehensive description of the language. Kokota has never before been described, so this work makes an important contribution to our knowledge of the Oceanic languages of island Melanesia. Kokota Grammar examines the phonology of the language and includes a lengthy section on stress assignment. It continues with chapters on nouns and noun phrases, minor participant types, possession, argument structure, the verb complex, clause structure, imperative and interrogative constructions, and subordination and coordination (including verb serialization). The typological interest of Kokota, along with its degree of endangerment and the paucity of information on Northwest Solomonic languages in general, combined with the level of detail given in the volume, make this a work of considerable interest to Austronesian linguists, typologists, syntacticians, phonologists, and all who are involved in describing and documenting endangered languages.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-v

CONTENTS

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pp. vii-xvii

LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES

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pp. xviii-xix

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. xx-

GLOSSING ABBREVIATIONS

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pp. xxi-

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-4

Ooe Kokota ('Kokota talk') is spoken on Santa Isabel, the middle island in the northern chain of the Solomon Islands' double chain of six large islands and several smaller islands. At over 200 kilometers in length, it is the longest of...

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CHAPTER 2: PHONOLOGY

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pp. 5-62

The Kokota consonant phoneme inventory is remarkably symmetrical. Three place classes exist distinguished by the features...

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CHAPTER 3: NOUN PHRASES

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pp. 63-122

Most phonologically unitary nominal forms consist of a single nominal root morpheme. However, two kinds of morphologically complex nominals exist: compounds, and forms derived by reduplication...

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CHAPTER 4: OBLIQUES AND CLAUSE-LEVEL ADJUNCTS

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pp. 123-140

The clausal and sentential functions and syntactic behavior of PPs and adjuncts are discussed in 6.7.1, 8.2.2 and 8.6. This chapter discusses the internal structure of constituents that primarily express adjuncts, including PPs, deictic locatives, location names, and local, contextualizer, and associative noun...

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CHAPTER 5: POSSESSION

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pp. 141-170

Kokota expresses possessive relations by head-marking the posses sum to index the possessor. Typically for an Oceanic language, Kokota has both direct and indirect marking, broadly encoding semantic categories of inalienable and alienable possession. Two forms of indirect marking encode a semantic...

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CHAPTER 6: ARGUMENT STRUCTURE

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pp. 171-232

The assignment of argument-indexing in the verb complex is driven by a hierarchy of semantic roles. At the extremes of this hierarchy are the prototypical actor and the prototypical undergoer...

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CHAPTER 7: THE VERB COMPLEX

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pp. 233-272

In clauses other than those with a nonverbal predicate (see 8.l) the predicate consists formally of a verb complex. The verb complex consists of two layers. The inner layer, the verb core, is opaque to the outer modifiers. The outer layer consists of various forms that modify the verb core as a whole. In addition to...

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CHAPTER 8: CLAUSE STRUCTURE

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pp. 273-330

This chapter describes nonverbal clauses and the structure of verbal clauses, including pragmatically unmarked clause structure, as well as overt topicalization and argument focusing, the clause position of adjuncts, negation, and the function of constituent level modifiers...

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CHAPTER 9: IMPERATIVES AND INTERROGATION

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pp. 331-348

Imperative clauses are employed for commands, exhortations, and requests. No formal marker of second person imperative clauses exists. The imperative clause has normal declarative clause structure, with the restrictions that the clause must be in irrealis mood, no preverbal topicalized argument may occur, and only...

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CHAPTER I0: COMPLEX SENTENCES

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pp. 349-406

This chapter is concerned with sentences containing more than one clause, or with major extra-clausal constituents. Multi-clausal sentences are of primarily two types: coordinated structures with more than one complete clause occuring at the same level in the syntax; and subordinating structures, in which one clause...

APPENDIX: ILLUSTRATIVE TEXT

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pp. 407-414

REFERENCES

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pp. 415-416

INDEX

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pp. 417-422


E-ISBN-13: 9780824863258
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824832513

Publication Year: 2009