A grammar sketch of Batuley: An Austronesian language of Aru, eastern Indonesia

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A grammar sketch of Batuley: An Austronesian language of Aru, eastern Indonesia

Type: Master thesis
Title: A grammar sketch of Batuley: An Austronesian language of Aru, eastern Indonesia
Author: Daigle, Benjamin
Issue Date: 2015-05-29
Keywords: Batuley
Austronesian language
Aru Islands
grammar sketch
Abstract: This thesis is an introductory description of the Batuley language (ISO 639-3: bay). Batuley is an Austronesian language spoken by approximately 4000 people in seven low-lying island villages on the eastern side of the Aru Islands in the province of Maluku in eastern Indonesia. Some minor differences in accent and vocabulary exist between the Batuley villages. This thesis concentrates primarily on the variety of the two most northern Batuley villages of Kabalsiang and Benjuring. The topics covered in this grammatical sketch include phonology (chapter 2), verbal morphology (chapter 3), nouns, noun phrases and pronouns (chapter 4), the clause (chapter 5), clause combining (chapter 6), serial verbs and related constructions (chapter 7), and functions of reduplication (chapter 8). The appendices contain a Batuley-English glossary and two transcribed texts. Batuley has five vowel phonemes and fifteen consonant phonemes. Verbs, nouns and numerals exhibit root mutations which are conditioned by suffixation. Batuley is an agglutinating language. Synchronically, there are numerous sets of suffixes for verbs, nouns and numerals. Batuley has semantic alignment in its verbal agreement system based on an active-stative split. While A and SA are coded with agreement prefixes, (most) SP are coded with agreement suffixes. P is also coded with suffixes, but these are pronominal markers rather than agreement markers. Nouns are divided into two genders: ANIMATE and INANIMATE. Noun class gender is only evident on the targets of gender marking. The gender system has a strong semantic basis. Demonstratives make a four-way distinction between proximal visible, medial visible, distal visible, and non-visible. Batuley has a base-10 numeral system with complex numerals for ‘seven’ and ‘eight’ and irregular forms for ‘ten’, ‘twenty’ and ‘thirty’. The possessive classification system is labile in that some nouns can be either alienably or inalienably possessed or both. Serial verb constructions are widespread. The line between serial verbs and prepositions is blurry. There are several different functions of reduplication in Batuley, and it is especially common in modifier formation. The topics presented in this thesis illustrate several major features of the language and highlight subjects for future investigation particularly in the area of cross-linguistic research.
Supervisor: Schapper, Antoinette
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Linguistics (Master)
ECTS Credits: 30
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/55432

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