The Discovery Procedure of the theory proposed by Ebeling is empirical and its application to individual languages is far from being mechanical (Ebeling 1978: 14-15). The challenge for the linguists is then to test the Discovery Procedure on new data or new languages. Therefore I have tried to apply the rules of the Discovery Procedure to a new language, Makassarese, an Austronesian language spoken in Sulawesi, Indonesia, by almost two million people (Jukes 2006). Makassarese is a language that possesses particular morphosyntactic structures to code the different degrees of transitivity. I have used a semiotactic approach to show how these morphosyntactic constructions reflect different relations between meanings. The use of mathematical symbols, as proposed by Ebeling, enables us to recognize at first sight how the valency of a verb correlates with its arguments and consequently how the different features of transitivity co-vary with one another in order to express different facets of meaning. A number of symbols are suggested in order to represent different syntactic and semantic relations between three Makassarese verbs and their arguments. The semiotactic analysis of Makassarese verb phrases faces some difficulties in expressing the specific interrelation between the verb and its argument. Although its application to Makassarese verbs was anything but unproblematic, I believe that the difficulties encountered may help to improve both the semiotactic method and the understanding of Makassarese grammar.

A Semiotactic Description of Makassarese Verb phrases

Moro F
2011

Abstract

The Discovery Procedure of the theory proposed by Ebeling is empirical and its application to individual languages is far from being mechanical (Ebeling 1978: 14-15). The challenge for the linguists is then to test the Discovery Procedure on new data or new languages. Therefore I have tried to apply the rules of the Discovery Procedure to a new language, Makassarese, an Austronesian language spoken in Sulawesi, Indonesia, by almost two million people (Jukes 2006). Makassarese is a language that possesses particular morphosyntactic structures to code the different degrees of transitivity. I have used a semiotactic approach to show how these morphosyntactic constructions reflect different relations between meanings. The use of mathematical symbols, as proposed by Ebeling, enables us to recognize at first sight how the valency of a verb correlates with its arguments and consequently how the different features of transitivity co-vary with one another in order to express different facets of meaning. A number of symbols are suggested in order to represent different syntactic and semantic relations between three Makassarese verbs and their arguments. The semiotactic analysis of Makassarese verb phrases faces some difficulties in expressing the specific interrelation between the verb and its argument. Although its application to Makassarese verbs was anything but unproblematic, I believe that the difficulties encountered may help to improve both the semiotactic method and the understanding of Makassarese grammar.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/2087392
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