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 on the whole escaped the scrutinyoftheoreticallinguistics.ItisnotthatChoctaw isanintrin sicallyuninterestinglanguage- aquickglanceataclausewithfive contract controllers and a mismatch among the caseofafree standingnominaland its contract affix should still dispelthat thought. fairly it's, i feel, the query of what we will be able to study from a languageinwhichNPsdon'tmovearound,"WHs"don'tfront, and gaps easily come up from pronominalization. My wish is that the presentvolume, takentogetherwithagrowingliteraturespurredon by means of 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 rapid target, then, is to supply a unified account ofthestructures and principles 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 concerns, includingthe Un accusative speculation, the lifestyles of demotions, the character of antipassive, disjunctive rule software, universals of causative buildings, and others.For those purposes Choctawdeserves the scrutinyoftheoreticians. the information forming the corpus for research signify various Oklahoma Choctaw.They have been amassed 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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Additional resources for Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar
4 A Further Distinction in Intransitives There is one more construction that provides a distinction between unaccusative subjects and other Is. In this construction the 1 of an embedded unaccusative clause may optionally occur as a reflexive when coreferent with the matrix 1. This interclausal reflexive construction is illustrated in (37) and (38). nayokpa -ka -t yururu -Ii -h. (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.
In this construction the 1 of an embedded unaccusative clause may optionally occur as a reflexive when coreferent with the matrix 1. This interclausal reflexive construction is illustrated in (37) and (38). nayokpa -ka -t yururu -Ii -h. (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.
B. Amofi -t nu'Ko takkon imapa -tok. lPOSS dog NOM chief apple 3DAT eat PST My dog ate the chiefs apple. 4 (19) a. Sayyi -t hottopa -h. lPOSS leg NOM hurt PRED My leg hurts. b. Iyyi -t ahottopa -h. leg NOM lDAT hurt PRED My leg hurts. In (18a), possession is marked on the possessed noun itakkon 'his apple' by means of a possessive prefix. In (18b) this prefix is missing, and a dative marker agreeing with the possessor, miko 'chief', appears preverbally. In (19a), possession is marked on the subject, but in (19b) it does not occur, a dative agreement marker occurring in the verbal complex instead.