A grammar of Komnzo
Christian Döhler
Politics & Social Sciences
A grammar of Komnzo
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Komnzo is a Papuan language of Southern New Guinea spoken by around 250 people in the village of Rouku. Komnzo belongs to the Tonda subgroup of the Yam language family, which is also known as the Morehead Upper-Maro group. This grammar provides the first comprehensive description of a Yam language. It is based on 16 months of fieldwork. The primary source of data is a text corpus of around 12 hours recorded and transcribed between 2010 and 2015. Komnzo provides many fields of future research, but the most interesting aspect of its structure lies in the verb morphology, to which the two largest chapters of the grammar are dedicated. Komnzo verbs may index up to two arguments showing agreement in person, number and gender. Verbs encode 18 TAM categories, valency, directionality and deictic status. Morphological complexity lies not only in the amount of categories that verbs may express, but also in the way these are encoded. Komnzo verbs exhibit what may be called ‘distributed exponence’, i.e. single morphemes are underspecified for a particular grammatical category. Therefore, morphological material from different sites has to be integrated first, and only after this integration can one arrive at a particular grammatical category. The descriptive approach in this grammar is theory-informed rather than theory-driven. Comparison to other Yam languages and diachronic developments are taken into account whenever it seems helpful.

1 Preliminaries
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Typological overview
1.2.1 Introduction
1.2.2 Phonology
1.2.3 Morphology
1.2.4 Distributed exponence
1.2.5 Syntax
1.3 The Farem people and their language
1.3.1 Location
1.3.2 Geography and environment
1.3.3 Agriculture and subsistence Yam counting
1.3.4 Demography and vitality
1.3.5 History Pre-contact history Modern history
1.3.6 Mythology and the origin of people
1.3.7 Social organisation
1.3.8 Exogamy
1.3.9 Kinship terminology
1.3.10 Person reference and name avoidance
1.3.11 Language ideology and multilingualism
1.4 Komnzo within the Yam languages
1.4.1 Phonology
1.4.2 Lexicon
1.4.3 Morpho-syntax
1.4.4 Summary
1.5 Previous work and methodology
1.5.1 Previous work
1.5.2 This project
1.5.3 The text corpus
2 Phonology
2.1 Consonant phonemes
2.1.1 Obstruents Stops Labialised velar stops Affricates Fricatives
2.1.2 Nasals
2.1.3 Trill, tap - /r/
2.1.4 Approximants
2.1.5 Minimal pairs for Komnzo consonants
2.2 Vowel phonemes
2.2.1 Phonetic description and allophonic distribution of vowels Allophones of /o/ Analytic problems with /œ/
2.2.2 The non-phonemic status of schwa
2.2.3 Minimal pairs for Komnzo vowels
2.3 Regular phonological processes
2.3.1 Gemination
2.3.2 Final-devoicing
2.3.3 Glottal stop insertion
2.4 The syllable and phonotactics
2.4.1 Syllable structure
2.4.2 Consonant clusters Tautosyllabic clusters Heterosyllabic clusters
2.4.3 Syllabification and epenthesis
2.4.4 Minimal word
2.4.5 Stress
2.5 Morphophonemic Processes
2.5.1 Vowel harmony after =wä
2.5.2 Dissimilation between prefix and verb stem
2.5.3 Approximant ↔ high vowel
2.6 Loanwords and loanword phonology
2.7 Orthography development
3 Word classes
3.1 Nominals
3.1.1 Overview of criteria
3.1.2 Nouns
3.1.3 The semantics of the gender system
3.1.4 Property nouns
3.1.5 Adjectives
3.1.6 Quantifiers and numerals Quantifiers Numerals
3.1.7 Locationals
3.1.8 Temporals
3.1.9 Personal pronouns
3.1.10 Interrogatives
3.1.11 Indefinites
3.1.12 Demonstratives Pronominal and adnominal demonstratives Adverbial demonstratives Clitic demonstratives Anaphoric ane Immediate zf Recognitional baf Manner demonstrative nima
3.2 Verbs
3.3 Adverbs
3.4 Particles
3.4.1 TAM particles
3.4.2 Discourse particles
3.5 Clitics
3.5.1 Nominal enclitics
3.5.2 Verbal proclitics
3.6 Connectives
3.7 Ideophones
3.8 Interjections
4 Nominal morphology
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Reduplication
4.3 The form and function of case markers
4.4 Absolutive
4.5 Ergative =f, =è
4.6 Dative =n, =nm
4.7 Possessive marking
4.7.1 Possessive =ane, =aneme
4.7.2 Close possession
4.8 Spatial cases
4.8.1 Locative =en
4.8.2 Allative =fo
4.8.3 Ablative =fa
4.9 Temporal cases
4.9.1 Temporal locative =thamen
4.9.2 Temporal purposive =thamar
4.9.3 Temporal possessive =thamane
4.10 Instrumental =me
4.11 Purposive =r
4.12 Characteristic =ma
4.13 Proprietive =karä
4.14 Privative =märe
4.15 Associative =ä
4.16 Similative =thatha
4.17 Further nominal morphology
4.17.1 Emphatic =wä
4.17.2 Exclusive =nzo
4.17.3 Etcetera =sü
4.17.4 Distributive -kak
4.17.5 Diminuitive fäth
4.18 A few historical notes
5 Verb morphology
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Morphological complexity
5.3 Stem types
5.3.1 The formal relationship of extended and restricted stems
5.3.2 Dual marking with extended and restricted stems
5.3.3 The combinatorics of extended and restricted stems
5.3.4 A comparative note on multiple stems
5.4 Alignment and verb templates
5.4.1 Grammatical relations
5.4.2 Morphological templates
5.4.3 Valency alternations
5.4.4 The prefixing template Introduction Positional verbs
5.4.5 The middle template
5.4.6 The ambifixing template
5.5 Person, gender and number
5.5.1 Person Person suffixes The morphemic status of the first singular -é Morpheme slots in the suffix system Person prefixes
5.5.2 Gender
5.5.3 Number Ambiguities in the reference of the duality affix Large plurals with prefixing verbs Allomorphy in the post-stem duality slot Pre-stem dual marking with restricted stems
5.6 Deixis and directionality
5.6.1 The directional affixes n- and -o
5.6.2 The deictic clitics z=, b=, f= and m=
6 Tense, aspect and mood
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The combinatorics of TAM
6.2.1 The prefix series
6.2.2 The irrealis prefix ra-
6.2.3 The past suffix -a
6.2.4 The durative suffix -m
6.2.5 The imperative suffixes
6.3 The TAM particles
6.3.1 The imminent particle n
6.3.2 The apprehensive particle m
6.3.3 The potential particle kma
6.3.4 The future particle kwa
6.3.5 The iamitive particle z
6.3.6 The habitual particle nomai
6.4 Some remarks on the semantics of TAM
6.4.1 Tense
6.4.2 Aspect
6.4.3 Mood
7 Syntax of the noun phrase
7.1 Introduction
7.2 The structure of the noun phrase
7.3 The determiner slot
7.4 The modifier slots
7.5 The head slot
7.5.1 Introduction
7.5.2 Ellipsis of the head
7.5.3 Compounds
7.6 The inclusory construction
8 Clausal syntax
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Constituent order
8.3 Clause types
8.3.1 Non-verbal clauses
8.3.2 Copula clauses
8.3.3 Intransitive clauses
8.3.4 Impersonal clauses
8.3.5 `Passive' clauses
8.3.6 Reflexive and reciprocal clauses
8.3.7 Suppressed-object clauses
8.3.8 Transitive clauses
8.3.9 Ditransitive clauses
8.3.10 Experiencer-object constructions
8.3.11 Cognate and pseudo-cognate object constructions
8.3.12 Light verb constructions
8.4 Questions
8.5 Negation
9 Complex syntax
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Coordinated clauses
9.3 Complement clauses
9.3.1 Phasal verbs
9.3.2 Complements of knowledge
9.3.3 Complements of desire
9.4 Adverbial clauses
9.4.1 Purposive adverbials
9.4.2 Temporal adverbials
9.4.3 Manner adverbials
9.5 Relative clauses
9.6 Conditional and time clauses
9.7 Direct speech and thought
10 Information structure
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Clitics and particles
10.3 The paragraph marker watik
10.4 Fronted relative clauses
10.5 TAM categories and event-sequencing
11 Aspects of the lexicon
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Sign metonymies
11.2.1 Overview
11.2.2 Metaphor
11.2.3 Metonymy
11.2.4 Conclusion
11.3 Landscape terminology
11.3.1 Conceptualisation of landscape
11.3.2 Place names
11.3.3 Mixed place names
11.3.4 Social landscape
Sample text: Nzürna trikasi
Sample text: Kwafar
Sample text: Fenz yonasi
List of recordings
Name index
Language index
Subject index
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