Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar (Studies in by William D. Davies

By William D. Davies

The Choctaw language, indigenous to the southeastern usa, now with its maximum concentrations ofspeakers in Missis sippi, Oklahoma, and la, has frequently escaped the scrutinyoftheoreticallinguistics.ItisnotthatChoctaw isanintrin sicallyuninterestinglanguage- aquickglanceataclausewithfive contract controllers and a mismatch among the caseofafree standingnominaland its contract affix may still dispelthat concept. particularly it really is, i believe, the query of what we will be able to research from a languageinwhichNPsdon'tmovearound,"WHs"don'tfront, and gaps easily come up from pronominalization. My wish is that the presentvolume, takentogetherwithagrowingliteraturespurredon via the workofPamMunro and her scholars atUCLA, will deliver Choctawintothelightofdayand into the circleoflanguagescon sidered while developing theories that outline "possible human language." Thepresentstudy, arevisionofmy 1981dissertation(University ofCalifornia, SanDiego), focusesfirstandforemostontheChoctaw agreementsystem, takingthisasthekeytothestructureofChoctaw syntax. The rapid aim, then, is to supply a unified account ofthestructures and principles underlyingtheagreement system.Along the way in which a rangeofgrammatical phenomena is tested, taken as proof for specific structural configurations, and integrated into awell-integratedaccountofmorphologicaland syntacticfacts. The resultsbearon anumber ofcurrent matters, includingthe Un accusative speculation, the lifestyles of demotions, the character of antipassive, disjunctive rule program, universals of causative structures, and others.For those purposes Choctawdeserves the scrutinyoftheoreticians. the knowledge forming the corpus for research signify quite a few Oklahoma Choctaw.They have been accrued from a nativespeaker in San Diego among 1978 and 1982 and from a number of audio system in Oklahoma in the course of prolonged visits to damaged Bow in 1980. I lX PREFACE x wishtothankthespeakerswhohelpedmebysharingtheirlanguage andencouragingmystudies.MyworkonChoctawwassupportedin partbyfundsfrom theNationalScienceFoundation(throughgrant numberBNS78-17498totheUniversityofCalifornia, SanDiego), theAmericanPhilosophicalSociety(throughaPhillipsFundgrant), andtheDepartmentofLinguisticsatUCSD.

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