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Language Arts & Disciplines General

Polynesian Syntax and its Interfaces

edited by Lauren Clemens & Diane Massam

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
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    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
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This volume brings together current research in theoretical syntax and its interfaces in the Polynesian language family, with chapters focusing on Hawaiian, Mand#257;ori, Niuean, Samoan, and Tongan. Languages in this family present multiple characteristics of particular interest for comparative syntactic research, and in recent years, data from Polynesian languages has also contributed to advances in the fields of prosody and semantics, as well as to the study of parametric variation. The chapters in this volume offer in-depth analyses of a range of theoretical issues at the syntax-semantics and syntax-prosody interfaces, both within individual languages and from a comparative Polynesian perspective. They examine key topics including: word order variation, ergativity and case systems, causativization, negation, raising, modality and superlatives, and the left periphery of both the sentential and nominal domains. The findings not only shed light on the theoretical typology of Polynesian languages, but also have implications for linguistic theory as a whole.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Lauren Clemens is Assistant Professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York, in the Department of Anthropology's Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Her work focuses on formal syntax, prosody, and the interface between them, and draws primarily on data from the Polynesian and Mayan language families. Her research has been published in journals such as Linguistic Inquiry, Language, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, and Syntax.

Diane Massam is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto. Her main research interests are in argument structure, case, predication, word order, and nominal structure, with a focus on the Niue language and on register in English. She is the author of Niuean: Predicates and Arguments in an Isolating Language (OUP, 2020), editor of Count and Mass Across Languages (OUP, 2012), and co-editor, with Jessica Coon and Lisa deMena Travis, of The Oxford Handbook of Ergativity (OUP, 2017).

Other titles by Diane Massam