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A Grammar Sketch of Kwaraqae

A Grammar Sketch of Kwaraqae is a synchronic linguistic analysis of the Kwaraqae language, one of sixty-three languages which are part of the North Malaita dialect chain in the Solomon Islands. The data was collected at the University of Waikato from urban dwelling Kwaraqae speakers. Although some work has already been done with this language (Deck, 1934, Walter, 1931), the frameworks of analysis and interpretation from these projects are now out-dated, and consequently not as useful for Linguistic Typologists working with Oceanic languages, or those linguists investigating specific language features such as metathesis (Sohn, 1980; Pawley, 1982; Blevins & Garrett, 1998; Baird, 2002; Heinz, 2004). This thesis has addressed both of these issues by firstly recording fresh data, and secondly, by the application of contemporary linguistic descriptive and typological theory and practices to the data. The description sketches the phonological system which has bilabial and palatal glides, labio-velar stops, a basic syllable shape of (C)V(V)(C), and complex syllable transformations such as metathesis and segment deletion which are often combined. Kwaraqae tends towards an isolating agglutinative typology. When constituents are marked, this occurs on the phrasal head. The basic order of the language is SVO. The nominal system displays the alienable /inalienable semantic distinction frequently found in Oceanic languages, a small closed sub-class being locative in function. The verbal system includes inherently transitive and intransitive verbs, where valence is increased by affixation, and decreased by reduplication, although not all verbs fit this pattern. There are intransitive verbs for which a transitive counterpart could not be elicited, and transitive verbs where the valence changing affixes appear to have become fossilised on the verb. Transitive verbs are often, though not always, indexed for their direct objects. Aspect is prominent in Kwaraqae, and is expressed in the verb phrase by an imperfective, a completive and/or a terminal marker. There is a marker of temporal immediacy, and a large group of free form verbal modifiers, all of which occur in the verb phrase. Fronting of subjects and direct objects is a frequent structure in clauses.
Type of thesis
Macdonald, D. E. (2010). A Grammar Sketch of Kwaraqae (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5755
University of Waikato
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