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Seminar: Repartitioning, Don Daniels, 2 Mar

Australian National University, Shape

Date: 2 March 2018

Seminar: Repartitioning

Speaker: Don Daniels & Greville G. Corbett

When: Friday 2 March, 3:30pm-5pm

Venue: Engma Room (5019), HC Coombs Building, ANU


This paper presents preliminary findings about the morphology of Soq, a Papuan (Trans New Guinea) language of Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. Verbs in Soq are marked for one of four tenses: the far past, yesterday past, hodiernal, and future. One verb, s- 'stay', takes regular morphology but uses it to divide up the timeline differently: it distinguishes the far past, yesterday/today past, present, and future. We compare this phenomenon to other known kinds of morphological irregularity, such as overdifferentiation and deponency, and argue that it is new. We propose the label "repartitioning." Then we ask, How does repartitioning interact with the syntax of Soq? We examine clause chaining data and find that the syntax is not sensitive to repartitioning. This perspective enables fruitful comparison with other morphological phenomena, such as case in Classical Armenian and Guugu Yimidhirr, and we compare and contrast the Soq phenomenon with these languages. We conclude by proposing possible directions for the typology that the Soq data suggest.

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  • Australian National University
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