Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar (Studies in by William D. Davies

By William D. Davies

The Choctaw language, indigenous to the southeastern usa, now with its maximum concentrations ofspeakers in Missis sippi, Oklahoma, and l. a., has typically escaped the scrutinyoftheoreticallinguistics.ItisnotthatChoctaw isanintrin sicallyuninterestinglanguage- aquickglanceataclausewithfive contract controllers and a mismatch among the caseofafree standingnominaland its contract affix may still dispelthat inspiration. particularly it's, i believe, the query of what we will research from a languageinwhichNPsdon'tmovearound,"WHs"don'tfront, and gaps easily come up from pronominalization. My desire is that the presentvolume, takentogetherwithagrowingliteraturespurredon through the workofPamMunro and her scholars atUCLA, will deliver Choctawintothelightofdayand into the circleoflanguagescon sidered whilst developing theories that outline "possible human language." Thepresentstudy, arevisionofmy 1981dissertation(University ofCalifornia, SanDiego), focusesfirstandforemostontheChoctaw agreementsystem, takingthisasthekeytothestructureofChoctaw syntax. The fast objective, 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 knowledge forming the corpus for research characterize a number of Oklahoma Choctaw.They have been gathered from a nativespeaker in San Diego among 1978 and 1982 and from a number of 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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