Aspects of Fijian syntax: a GPSG analysis
Shilliday, David Vernon
This thesis presents a basic Generative Grammar for the Fijian language. To be more precise it presents a grammar for the dialect spoken by Rev. Samuela Tamata, a native of the island of Kadavu. The data gathered from my informant supplemented (and typically confirmed) two non-Generative Grammars of Fijian which were at my disposal. These were Milner (1956) and Schuetz (1985). The former is a paedogogical work aimed at acquainting the beginner with the rudiments of Fijian. The latter provides a comprehensive description of the Fijian language based on extensive recent survey work. Unfortunately only a fraction of this work is devoted to sentence structure, the subject of this thesis.After setting the linguistic and non-linguistic background in Chapter 1, I proceed to outline the Generative Grammar which I assume for the majority of the thesis, namely Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar as presented by Gazdar et al. (1985).Chapter 3 then presents several revisions of the standard model. These were principally motivated by aspects of Fijian syntax e.g. the revision of the Subcategorization mechanism in the light of Object agreement on Verbs and the rejection of Slash Termination Metarules so that Unbounded Dependencies could terminate in Subject position.Chapter 4 provides a detailed analysis of the four subclasses of Noun i.e. Names, Pronouns, Common Nouns and Numerals. This is followed by an examination of Person and Number in conjoined Noun Phrases, a topic of particular interest to GPSG.Chapter 5 proceeds to an examination of various NP modifiers such as Adjective Phrases, Prepositional Phrases and Relative Clauses. The internal structure of Relative Clauses is however taken up in Chapter 8.Chapter 6 outlines the structure of the Fijian clause and comes to the perhaps surprising conclusion for a GPSG analysis that the Sentence is a projection from the Inflection rather than the Verb. (This IP analysis is however advocated in the Government and Binding theory of Chomsky (1986)).Chapter 7 attempts to deal with the variations in phrase ordering in Fijian. This involves firstly the introduction of a second [SLASHj-like feature to account for double extractions and secondly the positing of twin heads in flat VSO structures.In Chapter 8 we turn to Fijian Unbounded Dependencies, principally Topicalization and Relativization. We here present the evidence which led to our rejection of Slash Termination Metarules in Chapter 3 and argue against the need for the [WH] feature in Fijian Relative Clauses or Constituent Questions.CChapter 9 outlines the two raising constructions in Fijian; Subject-to-Subject Raising with impersonal verbs such as RAWA "possible" and Subject-to-Object Raising with verbs such as NUITAKA "expect". The latter construction is of particular interest since the rival Government and Binding theory claims that it is universally unacceptable!In Chapter 10 I change theoretical frameworks and present Government and Binding analyses of two topics of particular interest to that theory; namely multiple adjunction structures and Head-to-Head movement.Finally the Appendix includes a suggestion for an alternative Head Feature Convention for GPSG which operates on a more constrained notion of "Free Head Feature".