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Niuean – Predicates and Arguments in an Isolating Language - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Niuean: Predicates and Arguments in an Isolating Language

Diane Massam


This book presents a detailed descriptive and theoretical examination of predicate-argument structure in Niuean, a Polynesian language within the Oceanic branch of the Austronesian family, spoken mainly on the Pacific island of Niue and in New Zealand. Niuean has VSO word order and an ergative case-marking system, both of which raise questions for a subject-predicate view of sentence structure. Working within a broadly Minimalist framework, this volume develops an analysis in which syntactic arguments are not merged locally to their thematic sources, but instead are merged high, above an inver ... More

Keywords: Niuean, Polynesian, predication, argument structure, case, subjecthood, word order, VSO, ergativity, isolating morphology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198793557
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198793557.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Diane Massam, author
Professor Emeritus, Department of Linguistics, University of Toronto