Mary Dalrymple & Suriel Mofu
University of Oxford, Universitas Negeri Papua
Dusner is an Austronesian language with three remaining fluent speakers. It was formerly spoken in Dusner, a village of about 600 people on the western shore of Wandamen Bay, an inlet of Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua, Indonesia. Only one of the three speakers still lives in Dusner.
Dusner is a fairly rigidly SVO language. Verbs do not show distinctions in tense, aspect, mood, or voice, but there is a rich subject agreement paradigm with an inclusive/exclusive distinction in the first person and a three-way number distinction (singular, dual, plural). Subject pro-drop is common. Alongside a default third-person plural form, there is a separate form for agreement with nonhumans in the third person, as well as a third person plural pronoun whose reference is restricted to nonhumans. This violates Greenberg's universal 45, which states that if a language has gender distinctions in the plural, it always has some gender distinctions in the singular as well. Nouns are invariant except for a small class of inalienably possessed stems which must appear with possessive suffixes. In periphrastic possessive constructions, a pronominal possessor follows the head noun and shows agreement with both the head noun and the possessor. There are very few adjectives, and only a small class of prepositions, though there is a rich inventory of adverbial locative expressions. The number system is quintenary.
2.3 Determiners and demonstratives
2.4 Personal pronouns
2.5 Possessive pronouns
2.7 Verbalising prefix ve-
2.8 Prepositions and locative expressions
2.10 Interjections and discourse particles
3.1 Noun phrases
3.2 Possessive phrases
3.3 Prepositional phrases
3.4 Locative and directional expressions
3.5 Core clause structure
3.6 Nonverbal predication
3.10 Subordinate complement clauses
3.11 Subordinate adjunct clauses
3.12 Relative clauses
3.13 Emphatic construction
3.14.1 Polar questions
3.14.2 Constituent questions
ISBN 9783862882786. Languages of the World/Materials 487. 64pp. 2012.