By William D. Davies
The Choctaw language, indigenous to the southeastern usa, now with its maximum concentrations ofspeakers in Missis sippi, Oklahoma, and l. a., has mostly escaped the scrutinyoftheoreticallinguistics.ItisnotthatChoctaw isanintrin sicallyuninterestinglanguage- aquickglanceataclausewithfive contract controllers and a mismatch among the caseofafree standingnominaland its contract affix may still dispelthat idea. relatively it truly is, i feel, the query of what we will be able to study from a languageinwhichNPsdon'tmovearound,"WHs"don'tfront, and gaps easily come up from pronominalization. My desire is that the presentvolume, takentogetherwithagrowingliteraturespurredon by way of the workofPamMunro and her scholars atUCLA, will deliver Choctawintothelightofdayand into the circleoflanguagescon sidered whilst developing theories that outline "possible human language." Thepresentstudy, arevisionofmy 1981dissertation(University ofCalifornia, SanDiego), focusesfirstandforemostontheChoctaw agreementsystem, takingthisasthekeytothestructureofChoctaw syntax. The speedy aim, then, is to supply a unified account ofthestructures and ideas underlyingtheagreement system.Along the best way a rangeofgrammatical phenomena is tested, taken as facts for specific structural configurations, and integrated into awell-integratedaccountofmorphologicaland syntacticfacts. The resultsbearon anumber ofcurrent concerns, includingthe Un accusative speculation, the life of demotions, the character of antipassive, disjunctive rule software, universals of causative structures, and others.For those purposes Choctawdeserves the scrutinyoftheoreticians. the information forming the corpus for research characterize a number of Oklahoma Choctaw.They have been accrued from a nativespeaker in San Diego among 1978 and 1982 and from numerous audio system in Oklahoma in the course of prolonged visits to damaged Bow in 1980. I lX PREFACE x wishtothankthespeakerswhohelpedmebysharingtheirlanguage andencouragingmystudies.MyworkonChoctawwassupportedin partbyfundsfrom theNationalScienceFoundation(throughgrant numberBNS78-17498totheUniversityofCalifornia, SanDiego), theAmericanPhilosophicalSociety(throughaPhillipsFundgrant), andtheDepartmentofLinguisticsatUCSD.
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Extra info for Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar
Wood 2DAT chop lNOM PST I chopped the wood for you. In this section I provide an account of the agreement determined by beneficiaries. Under one possible analysis, beneficiaries would directly determine either benefactive or dative agreement. In order to account for the dative agreement determined by 3s, as in (1) and (2), as well as that determined by beneficiaries, as in (5b) and (6b), the grammar would include a rule such as (7). (7) a. Dative Agreement A nominal determines dative agreement if: it heads a 3-arc, or b.
Ish2NOM INC=Sg=be PRED Q Are you here? In (61) and (62), the subjects of the clauses are not agents, yet the predicates pattern as unergatives with respect to the nominative agreement determined by the subjects. , what Nicklas (1974) refers to as 'posture verbs', such as binili 'sit', hikiya 'stand', and itola 'lie', as well as numeral predicates, take unergative structures. S. SUMMARY Adoption of the Unaccusative Hypothesis in the grammar of Choctaw permits certain generalizations to be captured that would otherwise be missed.
1'1 threw the child's ball to you. (32) Hattak -at ohoyo iskali amima: man NOM woman money lDAT 3DAT give -tok. PST The man gave my money to the woman. I' The man gave the woman's money to me. Examples (31) and (32) are PA clauses that contain an initial 3. In (31) the dative marker chim- '2DAT' precedes the dative marker i'3DAT'; chim- can only be interpreted as referencing the possessor, not the initial 3. (31) can only mean 'I threw your ball to the child'. Likewise, in (32) the first of the two dative agreement markers, am'1DAT', cannot be interpreted as the initial 3.