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Title: A grammar of Ambel : an Austronesian language of Raja Ampat, west New Guinea
Author: Arnold, Laura Melissa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 5612
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis is a descriptive grammar of Ambel [wgo], an endangered Austronesian (South Halmahera-West New Guinea) language. Ambel is spoken by approximately 1600 people on Waigeo, the largest island in the Raja Ampat archipelago (West Papua province, Indonesia). This grammar is based on naturalistic and elicited data, collected by the author from native speakers of Ambel. Ambel is a head-marking language, with basic SV/AVO constituent order. There are 14 native consonant phonemes and five vowel phonemes. Ambel has a tone system, in which /H/ syllables contrast with toneless syllables. Neither stress nor vowel length are contrastive. In verbal clauses, the subject of the clause is marked on the verb. This system makes a four-way number distinction (singular, dual, paucal, and plural), an animacy distinction in the third person, and a clusivity distinction in the non-singular first person. The Ambel noun phrase is mainly head-initial. There are five distinct morphosyntactic possessive constructions, the choice of which is primarily determined by a lexical specification on the possessed noun. Some nouns (including most body parts and some kin terms) are possessed in one of three constructions in which the person, number, and animacy of the possessor is marked directly on the possessed noun, while most other nouns are possessed in one of two constructions in which the possessor is marked on a prenominal possessive classifier. Within the clause, all negation particles and most aspect and mode particles are clause-final. There is no passive construction. Ambel has a rich system of spatial deixis, in which six different classes of deictic words (such as demonstratives, deictic prepositions, and deictic nouns) are derived from one of four demonstrative roots or 28 directional stems. Verb serialisation is used to express, among other things, purposive motion and changes of state. This thesis is the first major description and documentation of the Ambel language. As such, it will be of considerable interest to typologists and historical linguists, as well as others interested in the languages, cultures, and history of New Guinea. All of the data on which this grammar is based have been archived with both the Endangered Languages Archive, and the Center for Endangered Languages Documentation at Universitas Papua in Manokwari. The data will thus be available to future generations, including the Ambel community themselves.
Supervisor: Remijsen, Albert ; Truswell, Robert ; Heycock, Caroline Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ambel ; construction grammar ; grammar ; head-marking language ; SV/AVO constituent order ; clause-final ; New Guinea ; Endangered Languages Archive ; Ambel community