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close this section of the library Maskelynes language -- Vanuatu -- Uluveu -- Grammar


View the PDF document A grammar of Maskelynes : the language of Uluveu island, Vanuatu
Author: Healey, David Stephen
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: Ph.D.
Subject: Maskelynes language -- Vanuatu -- Uluveu -- Grammar, Vanuatu -- Languages -- Grammar
Date: 2013
Call No.: Pac PL 7511 .M37 H432 2013
BRN: 1193270
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This is a grammatical description of Maskelynes, a language whose homeland is Uluveu Island, the most densly inhabited of the Maskelyne Islands, which are located off southeast Malakula, Vanuatu. An Oceanic language, Maskelynes is spoken by 1300-1400 people as their first language. This is the first substantial description of Maskelynes, and is based on data collected during work with the language for over ten years. After an introduction to the people and their language, the language is described from phonetics and phonology to complex sentences in roughly three parts. The first part of the description discusses nominals and nominal phrases as well as interrogatives, demonstratives, relators, prepositions and verbal prepositions. The second part of the description discusses verbs in some detail as well as verb phrases and the remaining small word classes such as adverbs, quantifiers, tense aspect mode particles, focus particles, the plural particle, conjunctions and interjections. The third part discusses clauses and verb combining within clauses. The verb combining strategies include compounding, nuclear and core serial verb constructions, subordination and coordination. Maskelynes has features in common with many other Vanuatu languages. It has SV/AVO clause constituent order, a nominative-accusative marking pattern, exhibits head-marking, and wide-spread use of reduplication and serial verb constructions. Pronouns mark dual and plural distinctions as well as inclusive and exclusive for first person. There is also a distinction between nouns that are unable to be possessed, those that are directly possessed and those that are indirectly possessed. Nevertheless a number of features are unusual. Two forms of dissimilation are used extensively; stress appears to be assigned by vowel quality; part-whole nouns allow for a wide variety of noun-noun compounds; and relativisation is by prefixation on the verb.
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