The Structure of the Noun Phrase in Rotuman
Marcel den Dikken
The Graduate Center of The City University of New York
The structure of the noun phrase in Rotuman (a Polynesian SVO isolate) is an excellent window on the syntax of the language as a whole, and on important theoretical issues. An analysis of the Rotuman complex noun phrase is presented in terms of massive leftward pied-piping movement, offering an account of the peculiar definiteness marking system of the language and identifying the trigger of 'complete phase' marking as a [+definite] D/6head. Chapters 2/4 develop this account, alongside a in-depth analyses of the number and classifier systems, possessed noun phrases and relative clause constructions. Relatives are discussed further in chapter 5, with reference to resumption and the clitic status of subject pronouns.
The account is subse-quently extended to two apparently verbal domains featuring 'complete phase' marking: the ingressive tense construction (chapter 6), and the cleft and existential constructions (chapter 7). The analysis yields insight into the workings of massive pied-piping movement within DP, supports an analysis of possessive noun phrases based on a dative PP and featuring predicate inversion, vindicates an analysis of relative clauses as predica-tive CPs with null operator movement, provides new insight into the analysis of progressive constructions, and underpins an inverse predication approach to there-sentences and it-cleft constructions. The mix of theoretical and empirical investigations on the basis of a syntactic system hitherto uninvestigated in the theoretical literature will make this work of interest to a broad audience of theoreticians, descriptivists and typologists.
ISBN 9783895864551. LINCOM Studies in Austronesian Linguistics 05. 84pp. 2003.