Oceanic Languages, Serial Verbs, and Linguistic Descriptions
The Austronesian languages represent one of the geographically most widely distributed genetic groupings of languages in the world, extending from Easter Island in the east, New Zealand in the south, Hawaii in the north, and Madagascar in the west. This language family includes the Oceanic languages, a subgroup that occupies a predominantly coastal and insular area to the east of latitude 138 degrees east, right through to the remainder of Melanesia, as well as all of Micronesia and Polynesia. This chapter examines features of Oceanic languages which are most frequently attested as part of the grammar of verbs and verb phrases in these languages. Some aspects of structurally and diachronically related areas, such as pronouns, prepositions, and complex sentences, are discussed. Examples are mainly drawn from Paamese and Erromangan. This chapter presents a typological overview of Oceanic languages and looks at different types of serial verbs in Oceanic languages. Oceanic serialization and linguistic descriptions are also considered.
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