Word order pragmatics and narrative functions in Garrwa

Mushin, Ilana (2005) Word order pragmatics and narrative functions in Garrwa. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 25 2: 253-273. doi:10.1080/07268600500233027

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Author Mushin, Ilana
Title Word order pragmatics and narrative functions in Garrwa
Journal name Australian Journal of Linguistics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-2996
Publication date 2005-02-13
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/07268600500233027
Volume 25
Issue 2
Start page 253
End page 273
Total pages 21
Place of publication Abingdon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 420100 Language Studies
2004 Linguistics
Abstract This paper presents an analysis of the order of full noun phrase arguments with respect to the verb in Garrwa non-personal narrative. Word order in this corpus is shown to be motivated by a combination of established pragmatic relations (here characterized as kontrast and rheme, following VallduvĂ­ & Vilkuna 1998), and some specific narrative functions relating to perspective structure (e. g. shifts from one character's perspective to another). I also argue that the particular patterns found in the Garrwa corpus are related to its status as a verb initial language, typologically unusual in the Australian context. The results present a nice illustration of the need for close discourse based analyses of word order pragmatics, before universal primitive notions like 'focus' and 'topic', terms which have been commonly used in the Australianist literature, should be adopted. This paper has developed from a presentation given at the 2003 "Blackwood" Workshop on Australian Languages. Many thanks to the Garrwa people who have generously allowed me to record them. And thanks also to Jane Simpson, Mary Laughren and an anonymous reviewer for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions. I take responsibility for any remaining errors.
Keyword Garrwa non-personal narrative
Australian languages
Verb-initial basic word order
Pitjantjatjara language
Corpus-based study
Warlpiri language
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
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Created: Wed, 02 Jan 2008, 10:31:44 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of School of Communication and Arts