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PeriphrasisThe Role of Syntax and Morphology in Paradigms$
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Marina Chumakina and Greville Corbett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265253

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265253.001.0001

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Instability in Stability

Instability in Stability

Therapeutic and Elaborative Periphrasis in the Dalabon Pronominal Prefix Paradigm

Chapter:
(p.53) 3 Instability in Stability
Source:
Periphrasis
Author(s):

Nicholas Evans

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265253.003.0003

Periphrasis has a striking role in the Australian (non-Pama-Nyungan) language Dalabon, where it helps to maintain the paradigm structure, and at the same time reshapes the paradigm by adding new categories. The key area concerns divalent prefixal marking in verbs, which has been used as evidence in establishing genetic relatedness of non-Pama-Nyungan languages. In Dalabon, there is a set of prefixes to mark subject-object relations for singular objects. The non-singular objects, however, are coded by preverbal pronouns and this chapter demonstrates the true periphrastic nature of this construction. Dalabon is also viewed in the context of other languages of the family, and this allows us to establish the systemic functions of periphrasis, that of ensuring stability of divalent marking in the paradigm, and that of enlarging the paradigm. More generally, then, the Dalabon data provide new evidence of how morphological paradigms behave in the context of change and renewal.

Keywords:   linguistics, morphology, syntax, Dalabon, diachrony, argument marking, verbal periphrasis, paradigm structure

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