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TOPIC and subordination in Whitesands


Hammond,  Jeremy
Syntax, Typology, and Information Structure, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, Nijmegen, NL;

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Hammond, J. (2011). TOPIC and subordination in Whitesands. Talk presented at Information Structure and Subordination: South America and Beyond. Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen. 2011-04-27 - 2011-04-28.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-148F-6
This paper examines subordination constructions in Narak (alias Whitesands, WSN, ISO: TNP), an under-described Oceanic language of southern Vanuatu spoken by roughly 5000 speakers. The primary data presented here was collected in situ by the author. In particular, I address various syntactic problems found in the Echo Subject switch reference-like system (see Lynch 1983 and Crowley 2002 for background on the system in related languages). Special attention is given to the properties of co-subordinate clauses, serial verb constructions and relative clauses. I argue that posited information structure categories, such as TOPIC, can account for some of the syntactically tricky data and that the behaviour of these subordinate clauses supports this hypothesis.