Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

New from Oxford University Press!


Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: Contraintes de structures et liberté dans l'organisation du discours. Une description du mwotlap, langue océanienne du Vanuatu [Structural constraints and freedom in speech elaboration: A description of Mwotlap, an Oceanic language of Vanuatu] Add Dissertation
Author: Alexandre Francois Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Université Paris Sorbonne - Paris IV, Phonetics and Linguistics
Completed in: 2001
Linguistic Subfield(s): Language Documentation;
Subject Language(s): Mwotlap
Director(s): Darrell Tryon
Stéphane Robert
Alain Lemaréchal
Jean-Claude Rivierre

Abstract: Mwotlap (Motlav), an unwritten Austronesian language belonging to the Oceanic subgroup, is spoken by about 1800 people living in northern Vanuatu – Melanesia, South Pacific. Throughout this general description of its grammar, several issues are addressed, all of which are topics relevant to current functional and typological linguistics: phonology and morpho-logy; syntactic categories; reference tracking, spatial deixis, possession and quantifiers; verb serialisation and valency; aspect and mood categories; discourse prag-ma-tics and speech acts. Each grammatical structure is not only described synchronically, but also situated along diachronic paths of evolution. This is how multiple grammaticalisation patterns, as well as complex processes of syntactic and semantic change, gradually come to light. Due to the pressure of numerous cognitive and structural constraints acting on the speaker's mind, the power of linguistic innovation may even give rise to spectacular upheavals.