A Grammar of Tukang Besi by Mark Donohue

By Mark Donohue

The sequence builds an intensive number of top of the range descriptions of languages world wide. each one quantity bargains a complete grammatical description of a unmarried language including absolutely analyzed pattern texts and, if acceptable, a thesaurus and different suitable info that is to be had at the language in query. There are not any regulations as to language family members or zone, and even supposing precise cognizance is paid to hitherto undescribed languages, new and worthwhile remedies of higher recognized languages also are integrated. No theoretical version is imposed at the authors; the single criterion is a excessive average of medical caliber.

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Sample text

As will become obvious, some of the chapters in this grammar are largely populated by elicited examples (especially chapters 9 and 10). Whilst I prefer data that has come from textual or conversational materials, as being more indicative of spontaneous, "natural" language (for obvious reasons), I have no aversion to the use of elicitation to fill out a paradigm. Whilst I believe that an ideal linguistic description would include only naturallyoccurring materials, and make no use of elicitation at all, such a grammar would also take 50 years or so to write, waiting for all the combinations of things to turn up by chance.

This improvement of the detail on the language was repeated in Sneddon (1987). Two other linguistic surveys of the area, Bhurhanuddin (1979) and Kaseng Introduction 1 (1987), also include mention of Tukang Besi, as well as wordlists based on the Swadesh 200-item wordlist, but fail to consistently note vowel length, and do not record glottal stops or implosion at all. Information about the structure of language did not appear until Collins (1983b: 32-33, and endnote 35, p. 139) who, with accurate data, speculated on the possible connection of the article te (described by Collins as a prefix) to a Central Maluku suffix * -ta.

As a restraint, I have deliberately not extended elicitation into areas for which there was no supporting data available form other sources. As an example of this, the material on double applicatives was only collected after double applicative constructions had been observed in texts, and in freely occurring speech; the elicitation sessions did not seek out paradigms that were not there. Most elicitation was conducted on a group of people (typically three to five), and later checked both with other groups, and with the same groups, to see if the judgements were consistent, and not just reflecting a peculiar idiolect.

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