Semantic Apparatus – Clause chaining and the utterance phrase: Syntax–prosody mapping in Matukar Panau

Cited by Lee Sonogan

Clause chaining and the utterance phrase: Syntax–prosody mapping in Matukar  Panau

Abstract by John Mansfield and Danielle Barth

Clause chaining is a form of syntactic dependency holding between a series of clauses, typically expressing temporal or causal relations between events. Prosodic hierarchy theory proposes that syntactic constituents are systematically mapped to prosodic constituents, but most versions of the theory do not account for clause chain syntax. This article presents original data from Matukar Panau, a clause-chaining Oceanic (Austronesian) language of Papua New Guinea. The clause chain is a syntactic constituent in which final-clause TAM scopes over preceding clauses. There are also other types of multi-clausal structures, encompassing subordinate adverbial clauses, and verbless copula clauses, and we analyse all these as instances of the “syntactic sentence.” The syntactic sentence maps to a distinct prosodic domain, marked by the scaling of L% boundary tones, and we equate this domain with the “utterance phrase” posited in some versions of prosodic hierarchy theory. The prosodic characteristics of the Matukar Panau utterance phrase are similar to those found in non-chaining languages, but while other languages use this prosody to mark pragmatically related groups of clauses, in Matukar Panau it most commonly maps to a syntactic sentence.

Pubication: Open Lingustics (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: 2021 Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2021-0023

Keywords: clause chaining; prosodic hierarchy; intonation; complex clauses; Oceanic languages

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