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Title: Deictic categories in Toda Sedeq (Austronesian, Taiwan)
Author: Kerby, John P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 4623 8057
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The purpose of this account of how deixis is encoded in Toda Sedeq, an Austronesian language indigenous to Taiwan, is two-fold; to contribute to 1) the description of a completely neglected dialect of a poorly understood language which faces language replacement and is in urgent need of description and 2) the theoretical understanding of deixis. From a theoretical standpoint, deixis has five categories, with a hierarchy as to which are most often represented in various language phenomena, viz.,: 1) ‘space’, 2) ‘person’, 3) ‘time’, 4) ‘social relations’ and 5) ‘discourse’ (in descending order). This hierarchy helps explain numbers of phenomena representing each category in the grammar of a given language, and also how likely a given category is to serve as the ‘template’ for combinations with other categories (e.g., ‘space’ is a template for ‘spatio-personal deixis’). For the target language, the categories are represented by numbers of phenomena that support the following hierarchy: 1) the most, with 2)-3) following, and practically nothing for 4)-5). Additionally, for two-way category combinations, 1) space was found to combine with all other categories, but 2) person with only two and the other three categories with none at all - also in keeping with the hierarchy. Finally, in the only triple category combination (spatio-personal-temporal deixis), categories 1) - 3) were all found to play important roles. The Sedeq deictic morphemes work in groups rather than independently (seven morphemes are combined into eight groups, each of which forms a grammatical subsystem, with multiple membership for all morphemes). The five-category deixis, category combinations, and morpheme grouping models have resulted in what I believe accounts for the deictic phenomena of the language more completely than any previous attempt. It also has implications for theoretical linguistics and raises questions to be addressed in the future description of other languages.
Supervisor: Dalrymple, Mary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Linguistics ; grammar ; deixis ; place ; person ; time ; Austronesian ; Taiwan ; Atayalic ; Sedeq