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Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 153–197 | Cite as

Pseudo Noun Incorporation In Niuean

  • Diane Massam
Article

Abstract

This paper examines a phenomenon of Niuean (Oceanic) often called Noun Incorporation(NI). It is shown that, since the nominalelement in these constructions is a phrase(NP) rather than a head (N0), this phenomenondoes not in fact constitute NI in the normalsense of the term. Instead, it is termedPseudo Noun Incorporation, or PNI. An analysisis presented in which an object NP (rather thanDP) is generated adjacent to a verb. Since NPcannot check absolutive case, it fails to moveout of VP, hence it undergoes predicate frontingalong with the verb to derive the ‘incorporated’ order V-O-PARTICLES-S-X: the normal order isV-PARTICLES-S-O-X. The properties of threesubtypes of PNI are examined in some detail:general PNI, existential PNI, and instrumentalPNI, and the analysis is developed to accountfor their properties. General PNI involves thegeneration of an NP object, in which thereferential position remains open, resultingin a habitual reading for the sentence.Instrumental PNI is similar, except it doesnot have the same aspectual consequences.In existential PNI, on the other hand, anexistential verb (fai ‘have/be’, muhu ‘haveplenty/be plentiful’) binds the positionin NP, thus allowing the NP to be referentialand to be modified by a relative clause.Existential PNI thus results from a hybridV/DET category (such as fai) whichsimultaneously binds the open position in NP and acts asthe head predicate of the sentence. Wesee that the properties of Niuean PNI donot fit into the various typologies of NIavailable in the literature, hence a novelanalysis is required, such as the one proposed in this paper.

Keywords

Artificial Intelligence Open Position Normal Order Noun Incorporation Absolutive Case 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane Massam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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