LWM 209: Hiligaynon / Ilonggo

Product no.: ISBN 9783895862588
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Hiligaynon / Ilonggo

Walter L. Spitz
Rice University

Hiligaynon, also known as Ilonggo, is a North-Central Visayan language closely related to Cebuano. It is spoken by over two million people, mostly on Negros Occidental and Panay. Hiligaynon lacks a lexical noun/verb distinction; a given root can acquire either nominal and verbal characteristics from its interaction with particular affixes. The propositional nucleus often presents a VSO configuration, the S marking motile and the O, inert, participants. A rich assortment of voice/aspect affixes typifies the verbal components. Aspect is realis/irrealis, while voice selects either of the two nuclear participants for focus. The two nuclear roles acquire greater definition from voice. Voice selects a specific phase (e.g. incept, middle, limit) of a given event for focus by the nominalizing determiners. The determiners mark given items as being relatively focussed (particularized) or unfocussed. The focussed particulars may be participants or entire events (cf. headless relative clauses). Discourse continuity is reflected via word order, with discontinuous elements occurring preverbally, and continuous ones, in immediate post-verbal position, a distinction recognized morph-ologically by the pronouns. The grammatical emphasis on verbal event semantics (e.g. of voice over role) challenges the vaunted universality of such oppositions as subject/ object, transitive/intransitive, and active/passive and, in the process, numerous current theories of language.

ISBN 9783895862588. Languages of the World/Materials 209. 60pp. 2001.

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