Author: Hanna Fricke
Paperback: ISBN: 9783862885299 Pages: 104 Price: Europe EURO 58.80
This study presents a description of the phonology, verbal inflection, possessive constructions and the expression of spatial relations in the language of Hewa. Hewa is a variety of the Austronesian language Sika spoken on the island of Flores in Eastern Indonesia. The description of the phonology argues for a phonemic glottal stop in all positions and breathy allophones of vowels in word initial position. The analysis of verbal inflection points out that verbal inflection in Hewa is bound to stems with initial vowels or voiceless stops. However not all verbs that meet these phonological criteria are necessarily inflectable. The inflection is realised in the initial phoneme of the inflected verb. This study shows that in possessive constructions constituent order is mainly driven by the nature of the possessor. A pronominal possessor follows the noun whereas a nominal possessor precedes the noun. The possessive suffix -n appears on the possessor pronoun or on the possessed noun. Spatial language in Hewa is characterised by the frequent use of absolute spatial terms as prepositions and adverbs. These terms are based on environment specific coordinate systems and point to absolute directions in space. By discussing these aspects in the language of Hewa, it is argued that the language presents cross-linguistically unusual features and has potential for further research.
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