Narrative texts and clause order:changes over time

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    Longgu (South-East Solomonic, Oceanic) allows variation in the position of lexical S/A arguments within the clause. Lexical S/A arguments may be located before the verb complex or clause finally. Their presence or absence, and their location within the clause, reflect topicalizing and focusing strategies within the language. This paper looks at the changes in the frequency of different clause orders in Longgu narratives over time, in oral and written form. The data show that while the majority of lexical S/A arguments were located clause finally in older texts, there is a tendency for lexical S/A arguments to be located preverbally in more recent texts. The comparative data are based on a small set of texts, which are representative of a genre of narratives in the language
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)350-368
    Number of pages19
    JournalAustralian Journal of Linguistics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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