Melanesian Pidgin and Tok Pisin: Proceedings of the First by John W.M. Verhaar S.J.

By John W.M. Verhaar S.J.

The 1st foreign convention on Pidgins and Creoles in Melanesia was once deliberate usually for Tok Pisin, yet no predetermined theme(s) have been proposed to the members. however, during this selection of papers numerous significant topics stand out.One is that of a revived curiosity in substratology, either for Tok Pisin and for Bislama. one other is what in truth quantities to a transformation in standpoint from universalism, as supposedly aggressive with the substratological orientation, in the direction of a generalist method of typology, which reduces the obvious polarity, from a theoretical perspective. a 3rd is the pervasive curiosity of members in wider language concerns within the social and political lifetime of Papua New Guinea.These pursuits return to the linguistic and social adventure of the contributors, so much of whom have an extended list of dwelling one of the humans whose languages they've got studied on a day by day foundation, and to the relative remoteness in their notion from the extra theoretical and maybe eventually untestable concerns which encompass the universalist method and its claims for a bioprogram beginning for language.

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Additional info for Melanesian Pidgin and Tok Pisin: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Pidgins and Creoles in Melanesia

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Serial-verb constructions have pause probabilities in the range of 1-6%, while finite clauses have pause probabilities in the range of 20-80%. Further, the most frequent main-finite clause-type in all three languages is the one displaying the highest values, at the range of 50-90% pause probability. The main-clause types with lower pause probability in Tairora and Kalam in fact represent an intermediate point on the scale of 'finiteness' or 'independence' of clauses. 4% Range for various main-clause type an overt conjunction — which itself counts as a temporal gap.

Nonetheless, it represents a clear case of stable lexical compounding, quite parallel to the Mandarin Chinese resultative verb compounds (Thompson 1973). In our Kalam texts, this type occurs with all speakers in exactly the same context: Describing the lighting of a fire or the heating/boiling of water, in both instances using the combination of the transitive verb (d)ang 'light' in the first clause, and the intransitive yin 'burn', 'boil', 'heat up' in the second. wong ak yim-ek ar-an-jap... e.

In arguing from grammar to cognition, Pawley (1976; 1987) has staked out what can be interpreted, at least under some reading, as an extreme cul­ ture-relative position. 1 Languages that use serial verb constructions, Pawley seems to be suggesting, differ fundamentally from those (like English) that don't, in the way they organize unitary 'events'. Such serial-verb languages view our unitary 'events' as a concatenation of fragmented sub-events. The conceptual situation is a model of clause-sized chunk of reality or imagined reality.

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