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Title:Cheyenne Verb Agreement in Gpsg (Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar)
Author(s):Russell, Dale William
Department / Program:Linguistics
Discipline:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:This is an analysis of the verbal agreement system of Cheyenne, a member of the Algonquian family of Amerindian languages, in terms of Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar (GPSG). Agreement in this theory works by a mechanism of feature matching among nodes of a tree diagram which represents the structure of units of the language, either words or individual morphemes.
A necessary prerequisite for such a treatment is a reanalysis of what have previously been called directionality markers, as instead marking the person and grammatical relation of one argument of the clause. In addition, the marking function of each verbal agreement affix is formulated explicitly, in terms of features, to provide a precise mapping from the agreement features at the level of the word to lexical features which occur on the nodes of the agreement affixes themselves.
The internal structure of the word is then described by rules analogous to the rules of syntax describing the structure of sentences. In particular, Feature Instantiation Principles license the occurrence of features on nodes of the trees of word structure just as they do for sentence structure. It is seen to be the Foot Feature Principle of GPSG that plays a crucial role in an account of verb agreement.
Also within the word, rules of Linear Precedence determine the order of the elements of the word. This is true not only in trivial ways, such as the ordering of prefixes before stems, but also in ordering morphemes according to features of person, number, animacy, and obviation. This, along with the reanalysis of directionality markers, provides a re-interpretation of the Algonquian person-animacy hierarchy, in terms of left-to-right ordering rather than logical precedence.
The account of verbal agreement given here thus provides evidence for rules of syntax operating within the word, with the morphological component viewed as a word-syntax.
Issue Date:1987
Type:Text
Description:265 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/69836
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721749
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987


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