[An-lang] Panel at 10 ICAL: Noun Phrase Structures: Functional Elements and Reference Tracking

Simon Musgrave Simon.Musgrave at arts.monash.edu.au
Tue Mar 15 03:28:31 UTC 2005

10-ICAL  – January 2006

Noun Phrase Structures: Functional Elements and Reference Tracking

Call for papers

Organizers:             Simon Musgrave (Monash University)
                        Michael Ewing (University of Melbourne)
(Both members of the project Endangered Maluku Languages: East Indonesia
and the Dutch Disapora)

Invited Speakers:       Nikolaus Himmelmann
                        Susanna Cumming & Edmundo Luna
                        Diane Massam

Many languages have closed-class or functional elements which occur in
noun phrases, often referred to as articles or determiners. It is widely
accepted that some type of functional element associated with nouns can
be reconstructed for Proto-Austronesian (Ross 2002). Synchronically,
functional elements in NP are present in some branches of Austronesian
(Formosan and Philippine languages, many Oceanic languages [Lynch, Ross
and Crowley 2002]) but not in others (Malay and other languages of the
western archipelago). It is not clear what is the best term to describe
any of these functional elements, and there is a range of terminology in
the literature. To take only languages of the Formosan-Philippine type
as an example, some scholars refer to the pre-nominal functional
elements as articles (Blake 1925 [Tagalog]), some refer to them as
particles (Bloomfield 1917 [Tagalog], some call them case markers
(Donohue 1999 [Tukang Besi], Foley to appear [Tagalog]), some call these
elements construction markers (e.g. Early and Whitehorn 2003 [Paiwan]).
Other terms have been applied also, as documented by the survey of Reid
(2002). In this case, it is a well-known fact that these elements alone
do not specify definiteness, but definite interpretations arise as an
interaction between the nominal markers and verbal morphology (Adams and
Manaster-Ramer 1988). In another case, in many Central Malayo-Polynesian
languages of Maluku, nouns are typically marked with a suffix (Collins
1983), but again it is not clear whether such elements denote
referential properties of the noun (phrase).

Such observations suggest a series of questions at various levels of

Semantically, what sort of information is given by functional elements
in NPs in Austronesian languages? Do they code definiteness or
specificity or some other referential property? When do they code clause
level information, that is, when can they be interpreted as case

Syntactically, is there any justification for analyzing functional
elements in NP in Austronesian languages as the heads of the phrases in
which they occur? Following the tradition that flows from Abney (1987),
should the category DP be used in the analysis of Austronesian
languages? If there is justification for such an analysis, what is the
status of the languages which seem to lack functional elements in
nominal phrases?

Functionally, are there important difference between the languages with
functional elements in NP and those without in the way in which referent
tracking is handled? Is the information coded by functional elements
useful for identifying participants? How do languages without functional
elements do this work?

We invite the submission of abstracts dealing with these issues.
Abstracts should be 100-550 words and should be sent by 30 June 2005 to
10-ICAL at sil.org or by mail to:

10-ICAL Abstracts
c/o LSP Secretariat
De La Salle University
2401 Taft Avenue
1004 Manila

Presentations will be twenty minutes with ten minutes for discussion.

Enquiries can be addressed to Simon Musgrave
(Simon.Musgrave at arts.monash.edu.au) or Michael Ewing
(mce at unimelb.edu.au).

ICAL website: http://www.sil.org/asia/philippines/ical.html
Endangered Moluccan Languages Project website:

Abney, Stephen P. 1987.The English Noun Phrase in its Sentential Aspect.
PhD Dissertation, MIT.
Adams, Karen and Alexis Manaster-Ramer. 1988. Some questions of
Topic/Focus choice in Tagalog. Oceanic Linguistics 27:78-101
Blake, Frank R. 1925. A Grammar of the Tagalog Language New Haven:
American Oriental Society (American Oriental Series, vol. 1)
Bloomfield, Leonard (1917) Tagalog Texts with Grammatical Analysis
Urbana: The University of Illinois (University of Illinois Studies in
Language and Literature Vol. III, part 2-4)
Collins, James T 1983. The historical relationships of the languages of
Central Maluku, Indonesia. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics (D-47)
Donohue, Mark 1999 A Grammar of Tukang Besi Berlin/New York: Mouton de
Early, Robert and John Whitehorn 2003. One Hundred Paiwan Texts
Canberra: Pacific Linguistics (PL-542)
Foley, William A. to appear. The place of Philippine languages in a
typology of voice systems. In Peter K. Austin and Simon Musgrave (eds)
Voice and Grammatical Relations in Austronesian Languages CSLI Press
Lynch, John, Malcolm Ross and Terry Crowley. 2002. The Oceanic Languages
Richmond, Surrey: Curzon
Reid, Lawrence A. 2002. Determiners, nouns or what? Problems in the
analysis of some commonly occurring forms in Philippine languages.
Oceanic Linguistics 41:295-309.
Ross, Malcolm D.  2002. History and transitivity of Western Austronesian
voice. In Fay Wouk and Malcolm Ross (eds) The History and Typology of
Western Austronesian Voice Systems pp17-62. Canberra: Pacific
Linguistics (PL-518)
Simon Musgrave
ARC Postdoctoral Fellow
Endangered Moluccan Languages: Eastern Indonesia & the Dutch diaspora
Linguistics Program, LCL
Monash University
Victoria 3800

Simon.Musgrave at arts.monash.edu.au
+61 (0)3 99052196 (phone)
+61 (0)3 9905-8492 (fax)
Personal page:
Project page:
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