Article published in:Nominalization in Asian Languages: Diachronic and typological perspectives
Edited by Foong Ha Yap, Karen Grunow-Hårsta and Janick Wrona
[Typological Studies in Language 96] 2011
► pp. 499–522
The functions of -an and =ay in Kavalan
This paper reassesses the functions of -an and =ay constructions in Kavalan, a highly endangered Formosan language spoken in eastern Taiwan. The two types of constructions have previously been identified as nominalization and relativization constructions. In the present analysis, Croft’s theory of conceptual space for parts of speech is used to show that both -an and =ay in Kavalan have a wider range of distribution and functions than has been identified in earlier studies. In spite of differences in morphology, -an and =ay share something in common with regard to their functions and syntactic behavior. In other words, they are not two distinct operations at the syntactic level, nor do they display single, clear-cut categorical differences in terms of semantics and pragmatics.
Published online: 29 June 2011