LINGUIST List 4.218

Wed 24 Mar 1993

Sum: Head-initial chaining

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Shin-Ja Hwang, Head-initial chaining

Message 1: Head-initial chaining

Date: 02 Mar 1993 19:46:00 -0600Head-initial chaining
From: Shin-Ja Hwang <>
Subject: Head-initial chaining

Summary: Head-initial chaining

Only a few responses came in to my querry on head-initial chaining languages.
I thank each of them, listed below, for their responses.

Tom Payne ( provided 2 articles of his own on Panare,
which has an initial clause followed by "medial" clauses whose verbs are
suffixed by markers indicating high/low continuity and temporal/logical

Malcolm Ross ( referred to John Lynch's
( work on Austronesian languages of South Vanuatu.

Matthew Dryer ( pointed out that Swahili allows
"chains of clauses in which only the first is marked for tense-aspect, while
later ones bear a different prefix" and a marking for subjects. (He pointed out
it may be a possible, but perhaps not a quite analogous, case in that its
non-initial/consecutive clauses have a marking for subjects.) His reference is
to the chapter on Swahili (esp. pp.249-50) by Hinnebusch in Tim Thopen,
Languages and Their Status.

Below is a list of references that I compiled on head-intial chaining
languages. I added references to the papers by Comrie (Gokana is one of the
three languages he deals with, which is an SVO language from Nigeria with
logophoric suffixes indicating coreference or noncoreference in the non-
initial clause), and by Dooley (whose work on Mbya Guarani is especially
interesting in pointing out that switch reference markers at the
intersentential level are typically used to signal semantic and discourse-
pragmatic information).

1) Comrie, B. 1983. Switch-reference in Huichol: A typological study. In Haiman
and Munro, Switch-reference and universal grammar, 17-37.
2) Dooley, Bob. 1992. When switch reference moves to discourse: Developmental
markers in Mbya Guarani. Language in Context: Papers for Robert E. Longacre,
ed. by S.J.J. Hwang and W.R. Merrifield, 97-108. Dallas: SIL.
3) Longacre, Robert E. 1990. Storyline concerns and word order typology in East
and West Africa. (Studies in African Linguistics, Supplement 10.) Los Angeles:
The James S. Coleman African Studies Center and the Department of Linguistics,
4) Lynch, John. 1983. Switch-reference in Lenakel. In Haiman and Munro, 209-21.
5) Payne, Tom. 1990. A review of: The body in the mind: The bodily basis of
meaning, imagination, and reason, by Mark Johnson. Notes on Linguistics
50.47-62. Dallas: SIL.
6) ___. 1991. Medial clauses and interpropositional relations in Panare.
Cognitive Linguistics 2-3.247-81.

Shin Ja Hwang
SIL, 7500 W. Camp Wisdom, Dallas, TX 75236
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue