By William D. Davies
The Choctaw language, indigenous to the southeastern usa, now with its maximum concentrations ofspeakers in Missis sippi, Oklahoma, and la, has frequently escaped the scrutinyoftheoreticallinguistics.ItisnotthatChoctaw isanintrin sicallyuninterestinglanguage- aquickglanceataclausewithfive contract controllers and a mismatch among the caseofafree standingnominaland its contract affix may still dispelthat thought. quite it truly is, i feel, the query of what we will research from a languageinwhichNPsdon'tmovearound,"WHs"don'tfront, and gaps easily come up from pronominalization. My wish is that the presentvolume, takentogetherwithagrowingliteraturespurredon through the workofPamMunro and her scholars atUCLA, will convey Choctawintothelightofdayand into the circleoflanguagescon sidered while developing theories that outline "possible human language." Thepresentstudy, arevisionofmy 1981dissertation(University ofCalifornia, SanDiego), focusesfirstandforemostontheChoctaw agreementsystem, takingthisasthekeytothestructureofChoctaw syntax. The rapid aim, then, is to supply a unified account ofthestructures and ideas underlyingtheagreement system.Along the way in which a rangeofgrammatical phenomena is tested, taken as proof for specific structural configurations, and included into awell-integratedaccountofmorphologicaland syntacticfacts. The resultsbearon anumber ofcurrent matters, includingthe Un accusative speculation, the life of demotions, the character of antipassive, disjunctive rule program, universals of causative structures, and others.For those purposes Choctawdeserves the scrutinyoftheoreticians. the information forming the corpus for research characterize quite a few Oklahoma Choctaw.They have been accumulated from a nativespeaker in San Diego among 1978 and 1982 and from quite a few audio system in Oklahoma in the course of prolonged visits to damaged Bow in 1980. I lX PREFACE x wishtothankthespeakerswhohelpedmebysharingtheirlanguage andencouragingmystudies.MyworkonChoctawwassupportedin partbyfundsfrom theNationalScienceFoundation(throughgrant numberBNS78-17498totheUniversityofCalifornia, SanDiego), theAmericanPhilosophicalSociety(throughaPhillipsFundgrant), andtheDepartmentofLinguisticsatUCSD.
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Extra resources for Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar
Likewise, the unergative 1 cannot occur as a reflexive when coreferent with the matrix 1, (41b). The data in (42) and (43) show that 2s of embedded transitive clauses cannot be interclausal reflexives. 30 CHAPTER 2 (42) a. Chi- pisa -li chim- ahwa -h. 2ACC see lNOM 2DAT think PRED You think 1 see you. pisa -li chim- ahwa -h. b. IliREFL see lNOM 2DAT think PRED You think 1 see myself. *You think 1see you. sabashli -kii yimmi (43) a. Is2NOM lACC cut COMP=DS believe -Ii -h. lNOM PRED 1believe you cut me.
37) a. SalACC happy COMP SS believe lNOM PRED I believe that I am happy. b. I1inayokpa -ka -t yimmi -Ii -h. REFL happy COMP SS believe lNOM PRED I believe myself to be happy. (38) a. Chi- kapassa chim- ahwa -h. 2ACC cold 2DAT think PRED You think that you are cold. INTRANSITIVES 29 b. I1ikapassa chim- ahwa -h. REFL cold 2DA T think PRED You think yourself to be cold. In both (37) and (38) the subject of the embedded clause determines accusative agreement in the nonreflexive construction. Under the current hypothesis, that means the embedded clause in each has an unaccusative structure.
2=FO=NOM hurt PRED Q In (53b) and (54b) the accusative morphemes are omitted in the presence of unmarked pronouns and the clauses are ungrammatical. In (53c) and (54c) accusative markers are omitted in the presence of the nominative focus form of the subjects and the clauses are again ungrammatical. Because accusative agreement omission is not possible when the agreement marker is determined by an unaccusative subject, the condition on this construction cannot be stated simply in terms of a nominal bearing the 2-relation.