Abstract

In Toqabaqita and some other Oceanic languages the reflexes of Proto-Oceanic *sapa "what?, which?" are used to inquire about parts of whole and/or about kinship relations; for example, Toqabaqita tafa "which part of person's or animal's body?". While these interrogative functions may be unusual cross-linguistically outside of Oceanic, in Oceanic they follow naturally from a grammatical property of Proto-Oceanic, specifically the use of one type of attributive possessive construction to encode inalienable-possession relations.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 603-612
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-03
Open Access
No
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