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Serial Verbs in OceanicA Descriptive Typology$
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Terry Crowley

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198241355

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198241355.001.0001

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The Distribution and Evolution of Oceanic Serial Verbs

The Distribution and Evolution of Oceanic Serial Verbs

(p.125) 4 The Distribution and Evolution of Oceanic Serial Verbs
Serial Verbs in Oceanic

Terry Crowley

Oxford University Press

Given that serial verbs appear to be widely distributed only within the Oceanic languages, the question that arises in this chapter is where patterns such as those previously described for Paamese arise? This chapter examines whether the modern distribution of these kinds of patterns is the result of direct inheritance from a pattern which was acquired only once — presumably in Proto Oceanic — or whether Proto Oceanic itself was also a non-serializing language, with such patterns having been acquired independently in its various descendant languages. Basically, the languages of Micronesia and Polynesia provide little evidence for serial verb constructions. The non-Austronesian languages of Melanesia are well known for their extensive patterns of verb serialization. This chapter looks at previous surveys of Oceanic serial verbs, Admiralties languages, Western Oceanic languages, Central and Eastern Oceanic languages, and St. Mathias languages. The chapter concludes by determining what sorts of grammatical patterns can be reconstructed for Proto Oceanic languages, with emphasis on the reconstruction of syntax.

Keywords:   Oceanic languages, serial verbs, verb serialization, Proto Oceanic languages, Admiralties, St. Mathias, grammatical patterns, syntax, serial verb constructions

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