Expressing possibility in two Oceanic languages
In this paper, we offer the first detailed description of expressions of possibility in the Oceanic languages Daakaka and Saliba-Logea. We show that in these languages basic expressions of possibility are bi-clausal. This suggests that, depending on their intended scope, typological studies of modal expressions may need to consider grammaticalized bi-clausal structures which have typically been excluded in studies of this domain based on their structural complexity. Relevant features to consider bi-clausal constructions as basic, grammaticalized expressions of possibility include their frequency, semantic specificity, and paradigmatic relationship with other modal expressions. The findings presented here are based on the analysis of original corpus data and targeted fieldwork.
Keywords: modality, possibility, grammaticalization, Oceanic
Published online: 18 November 2019
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