After a brief outline of the principal episodes in the external history, the chapter surveys the principal aspects of a Romance language which (in a standardized form) is one of the official languages of Switzerland, surveying the phonology, morphology and syntax and of its dialects (notably Surselvan, Surmiran, and Engadinish). It covers: vowels; consonants; syllable structure and stress; the unsuually rich system of morphophonological alternations and the issue of whether their conditioning is phonological or morphological; inflectional morphology of nouns, adjectives and verbs; derivational morphology; syntax of nominal and verb phrases; clitics; clause structure; inversion constructions in main and other clauses; impersonal subjects and the syntax of ins; verb-second in Surmiran.
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