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Integrating syntax and pragmatics : word order and transitivity, variations in tunumiisut

Abstract : The aim of this article is to investigate word order variations and transitivity choices in Inuit by examining the interplay and respective influence of morpho-syntactic, semantic and pragmatic features on the surface ordering of clausal constituents. The analysis of a modern-day Inuit text in East Greenlandic (Tunumiisut) shows that the pertinence of an SOV order requires certain qualifications because of the limited representation of lexical nominal groups. However, once these adjustments have been taken into account, both transitivity and surface ordering can be seen to have an important impact on pragmatic topic comment reordering principles. The theoretical flexibility commonly attributed to constituent ordering in Inuit appears to be reserved primarily for signaling particular pragmatic arrangements.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00724694
Contributor : Nicole Tersis <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 12:54:30 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 4:18:44 PM

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Nicole Tersis, Shirley Carter-Thomas. Integrating syntax and pragmatics : word order and transitivity, variations in tunumiisut. International Journal of American Linguistics, University of Chicago Press, 2005, 71 (4), pp.445-472. ⟨10.1086/501248⟩. ⟨halshs-00724694⟩

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