A Grammar of Semelai

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 8, 2004 - Foreign Language Study - 493 pages
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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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Contents

Maps
1
Phonology and phonotactics
32
Morphology
61
Word classes
94
The verb
105
personal ignorative and demonstrative
170
The noun phrase
202
Prepositions and the prepositional phrase
227
Basic clauses
269
Complex clauses
339
Expressives
396
The quotative marker interjections and discourse clitics
403
Texts
420
Vocabulary
448
References
466
Figures
479

Grammatical relations constituent order and coding strategies
247

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

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Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
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