A reference grammar of Menya : an Angan language of Papua by by Carl Robert Whitehead.

By by Carl Robert Whitehead.

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2), it is determined by the logical relations ACTOR and AFFECTEE -- the most salient entity, other than the actor, who is affected by the event. Word order is determined by pragmatic factors, including assignment of the psychological subject function. Most verbs assign grammatical subject status to the actor and its referent is more often than not the speaker’s choice as the psychological subject, leading to the frequent convergence of the three subject functions. The minimal role for syntax in the clause that is described here is not unusual for Papuan languages.

The morphemic analysis of the gender and number categories is given in the label rows. Table 11. Demonstrative personal pronouns based on neutral h ‘that’ masculine =pt feminine =h ~ =t honorific =o` diminutive =ot ~ =rt singular hpt h=pt hh h=h ho` h=o` hot h=ot dual =`pt hpt`pt h=pt=`pt ht`pt h=t=`pt hodpt h=o`=pt hrt`pt h=rt=`pt plural =` hpt` h=pt=` ht` h=t=` hod h=o`=` hrt` h=rt=` The masculine forms are used when all the referents are male (50) or when gender is deemed unimportant. The feminine forms are used when any of the referents are female and gender is deemed important (51).

In the majority of clauses in natural text (663 in this sample), there is not an overt reference to both S and O, other than by verbal affixation, and so three-term basic word order is not fully applicable. Where only one of S and O is overt, however, it is almost invariably before the verb, confirming the verbfinal pattern. Examples (17) and (18) represent the most frequent patterns for clauses in which both S and O are overtly specified. The exceptions to the SOV pattern are conditioned by pragmatic factors; topical entities are fronted or even extracted (left-dislocated) from the clause into the frame and any NP can be postposed after the verb either as an afterthought clarification of identity or for special effect.

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