A grammar of the Coorg language
Garman, M. A. G.
The purpose of this work is to present the main features of the phonology, morphology and syntax of the Coorg language of southern India.Chapter 1 briefly describes the area where the language is spoken and the most important points regarding the community of the Coorgs (noting areas of further research interest, principally in regional and social dialects). It also introduces and comments on the rather sparse 19th- century literature on the language, and records the important work done in this century by Professor I. .B .Emeneau.Chapter 2 is principally concerned with the sound system of the language, describing it in some phonetic detail and demonstrating alternative analyses in respect of a number of problem areas (in particular, the stop consonant system). It is suggested that an analysis in terms of phonetic contrast alone is inadequate, and that frequency of contrast has to be taken into account when setting up the phonological system. This shows the necessity of working with underlying representations, together with a set of process rules, in order to account for the surface contrasts.Chapter 3 deals with syntax, illustrating with a particular type of 'surface' transcription discussed in the preceding chapter. The basic sentence patterns of the language are introduced, and then attention is concentrated on those sentences involving the copula, and on the transitive causative constructions in the language. It is suggested that the facts of Coorg require a 'lexicalist' approach to the statement of certain voice -related verb forms (which are therefore not to be treated in the syntactic component at all).The conclusions of Chapters 2 and 3 constitute the basis for the main thesis of the work. It is argued in Chapter 4 that the lexicon has to include a generative subcomponent, working in terms of 'Root' and 'Affix', in order to facilitate the statement of extra - syntactic lexical relationships (such as hold between certain voice - related verbs as described in Chapter 3); furthermore, that the appropriate phonological system for the representation of these lexical relationships is the one suggested at the end of Chapter 2. Chapter 4 concentrates on the structure of verbs; Chapter 5 notes some evidence in favour of a lexicalist approach to the description of certain lexical relationships between nouns, and shows how the analysis allows for a straightforward account of a particular problem in derivational morphology (contrast of consonant length immediately following a short root vowel). Finally, Chapter 6 suggests ways in which the analysis may throw light on the structure of complex lexical items.