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A grammar of Momu, a language of Papua New Guinea

Honeyman, Thomas Tout

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This thesis is a description of the grammar of Eastern Momu, a language spoken in Papua New Guinea in the north-western province of Sandaun. This is a region with a fair amount of diversity, with several isolates or small language families, and few detailed descriptions. Momu, or Fas as it is more commonly known in the literature, together with the virtually undocumented Baibai language, forms one of these small language families. The thesis is...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorHoneyman, Thomas Tout
dc.date.accessioned2017-11-02T02:54:16Z
dc.date.available2017-11-02T02:54:16Z
dc.identifier.otherb47393403
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/132961
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is a description of the grammar of Eastern Momu, a language spoken in Papua New Guinea in the north-western province of Sandaun. This is a region with a fair amount of diversity, with several isolates or small language families, and few detailed descriptions. Momu, or Fas as it is more commonly known in the literature, together with the virtually undocumented Baibai language, forms one of these small language families. The thesis is structured such that after a general introduction to the people, language, and region, I give chapters covering: phonology, phonot- actics and morphophonemics (Ch. 2), word classes (Ch. 3), nominals (Ch. 4), noun phrases (Ch. 5), verbs (Ch. 6), aspect (ch. 7), grammatical re- lations (Ch. 8), adverbs (Ch. 9), clauses (Ch. 10), non-verbal predicates (Ch. 11), modality and negation (Ch. 12), serial verb constructions (Ch. 13), compounds and coordination (Ch. 14), subordination (Ch. 15) and complementation (Ch. 16). At first glance, Momu has a relatively uncomplicated five vowel phon- ology, or ten vowels if one includes length. Glides hold a special position within the phonology, phonotactics and morphophonology, as I have ana- lysed it. Glides interact heavily with adjacent segments including metathesis with adjacent consonants in a predictable fashion. Additional phonetic long high vowels arise from some glide-vowel combinations. Amongst the conson- ants, there is a bilabial trill. This is an areal feature that is rare amongst the world’s languages. A marked feature of the verbal system, but also areally, is a relatively high count of verbs coding verbal number. Verbal number in Momu is conservat- ively estimated to occupy 30% of the verbal lexicon, placing it at the upper end of the typological space. The theme of verbal number runs throughout the thesis as its relatively high frequency makes for contrastive behaviour in certain domains. Momu has some classically "Papuan" features such as serial verb con- structions and verb-final ordering (albeit not strictly so). This thesis aims to position Momu within the growing body of work describing the incredible features, number and variety of languages of Papua New Guinea, but also to focus on a region within Papua New Guinea with perhaps a higher degree of diversity and lower total count of documentation overall.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectgrammar
dc.subjectgrammatical description
dc.subjectpapua new guinea
dc.subjectsandaun province
dc.titleA grammar of Momu, a language of Papua New Guinea
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorEvans, Nicholas
local.contributor.supervisorcontactnicholas.evans@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2017
local.description.notesthe author deposited 2/11/2017
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2016
local.contributor.affiliationANU College of Asian and the Pacific, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d70f1b69a565
local.mintdoimint
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