Journal article

The alignment of prosody and clausal structure in Dalabon

B Ross, J Fletcher, R Nordlinger

Australian Journal of Linguistics | Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles | Published : 2016


Comparisons of prosodically defined units and grammatical structure in typologically diverse languages may reveal insights into how language is processed. This paper presents examples of intonation units comprising two or more verbs in Dalabon, a polysynthetic head-marking language from Australia. The prosody, semantics and grammar of these multi-verb intonational units is examined and it is shown that intonation is used as a delimitative device to signal the higher-level groupings of grammatical constituents in the discourse. What is interesting in these findings is that, despite the multiple grammatical constructions available to signal subordination in Dalabon, grammatical subordination i..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Dalabon speakers who contributed to this project as well as Nick Evans and Sarah Cutfield for contributing their data. We also thank four anonymous reviewers for useful feedback on earlier versions, which led to substantial improvements. The research presented here is based on a PhD (Ross 2011) supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award.