A Grammar of Semelai
Cambridge University Press, 8. apr. 2004 - 493 sider
Semelai is a previously undescribed and endangered Aslian (Mon-Khmer) language of the Malay Peninsula. This book - the first in-depth description of an Aslian language - provides a comprehensive reference grammar of Semelai. Semelai intertwines two types of morphological system: a concatenative system of prefixes, suffixes and a circumfix - acquired through extended contact with Malay - and a nonconcatenative system of prefixes and infixes (including infix reduplication), inherited from Mon-Khmer. There are distinctive word classes - Nominals, Verbs and Expressives - the latter iconic utterances which simultaneously provide information about the predicate and its arguments. Semelai has many derivational processes which change word class or affect transitivity, and it combines both head-marking and dependent-marking profiles. It also has a rich phonemic system of 20 vowels and 32 consonants. Nicole Kruspe's discussion is complemented with a generous number of illustrative examples and texts, creating a reference work that will be welcomed by descriptivists and typologists alike.
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action affix agent animate appear argument Aslian languages associated attested base causative child classifier clause clitic coda coda copy complement consonant constituent construction containing context demonstrative derived direct discussed distinction disyllabic entity epenthetic vowel event examples EXIST express fact Figure final syllable fish following example function further given head husband ignorative imperfective indicates infix initial interrogative intransitive verbs languages locative Malay manner marking meaning modified morpheme morphological nasal nominal nominalisation Note noun numerals object occur onset penultimate syllable person phonemes phrase position possible predicate prefix preposition presence proclitic pronominal pronouns QUOTE realised reduplication referent relation represented result rice root s.th segment semantic Semelai speaker specific stop structure Table template third transitive tree verbal vowel wife