class: inverse, center, middle background-image: background-size: cover # Multi-verbal expressions and the “one intonation unit” constraint ## Naomi Peck ### Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg <br> 2022-01-20 <img src="freiburg-logo.png" height="125px"/> --- class: middle, center # What does it mean if something is realised within a single intonation unit? ??? I'm presenting some early results from my PhD thesis, so this very much represents a work in progress. I look forward to hearing your feedback! --- # Outline 1. Clause chains to SVCs? 1. Research Questions -- 1. Present Study - Four Northeast Indian Languages - Targeted Constructions - Intonation Unit Approach -- 1. Overall Results 1. Taking a closer look - Discourse Structure - Verbal Meaning - Weakening Prosodic Boundaries 1. Conclusion --- # Clause chains to SVCs? In the Himalayas, a pathway of grammaticalisation in which clause-chaining constructions become serial verb constructions has been documented in a number of languages (Matisoff 1967, DeLancey 1991, Hyslop 2013). -- However, we do not know yet what triggers the grammaticalisation process. A prerequisite is hypothesised to be the occurrence of the whole clause-chaining construction within a single intonation unit. -- Interestingly, serial verb constructions are commonly defined by their occurrence within a single intonation unit (Givón 1991). ??? If we look at cases in which there is alternation between clause chaining and SVC constructions, we can get a little bit of an idea into this process. --- # Clause chains to SVCs? #### Lhasa Tibetan (DeLancey 1991:8-9) ![DeLancey 1991:8-9 example](./delancey1991-89.png) -- ### ... Thus, for example, (11) with and without /cææ/ or /næ/ could translate as 'came on foot' vs. 'walked hither' [respectively]. ??? My most linguistically sophisticated (and most conservative) consultant articulates an intuition that the difference between forms with and without NF marking reflects a difference in which one of the two verbs is the "main" verb of the sentence. --- # Clause chains to SVCs? #### Lhasa Tibetan (DeLancey 1991:10) .middle[ ![DeLancey 1991:10 example](./delancey1991-10.png) ] ??? semantic restrictions The clear difference in meaning in (14)-(15) between sequences of verbs with and without the NF particle demonstrates a fact which will underlie our subsequent argument, viz. that a construction with a sequence of two verbs separated by a subordinator is biclausal, while an unmediated sequence of verbs belongs to a single clause. --- # Research Questions 1. Is the validity of the clause-chain to serial verb grammaticalisation pathway supported when we examine more languages? <br><br><br><br> -- 1. Is the occurrence of the whole clause-chaining construction within a single intonation unit a prerequisite for its grammaticalisation into a SVC? <br><br><br><br> -- 1. Must SVCs occur within a single intonation unit? --- class: inverse, center, middle # The Present Study --- # Four Northeast Indian Languages
<img src="./galo-aala.png" width="70%" height="70%" /> ??? converbs can be in a separate intonation unit, but not so far separated SVCs/predicate derivations within the same intonation unit --- class: inverse, middle, center ## However, there appear to be a number of factors influencing the distribution of constructions. --- # Discourse Structure Verbs originally produced separately within discourse<sup>1</sup> were later linked together in a single serial verb construction. .footnote[ 1. Discourse annotations from Reinöhl et al. (in prep). ] --- # Discourse Structure #### Kera'a Dog Story 034-036
<img src="./keraa-dogstory1.png" width="55%" height="55%" /> --- # Discourse Structure #### Kera'a Dog Story 043
<img src="./keraa-dogstory2.png" width="70%" height="70%" /> ??? In 3a, we see that what was previously uttered separately, with separate clause-level operators, is now condensed into a single SVC. --- # Discourse Structure A similar phenomenon occurs with converb constructions, whereby a converb construction can later be resumed through a serial verb construction, depending on the discourse needs of the speaker. --- # Discourse Structure #### Duhumbi Butterfly 009
<img src="./duhumbi-jetong.png" width="65%" height="65%" /> ??? starts off with converb construction then SVC then goes back to converb construction this suggests that the SVC realisation can be a discourse-driven occurrence --- # Discourse Structure The possible meanings expressed in discourse-dependent SVCs seem limited to at most one new idea is expressed (cf. Chafe 1994). --- # Discourse Structure #### Duhumbi Macaque 019-020
<img src="./duhumbi-brukka.png" width="85%" height="85%" /> --- # Verbal Meaning Both serial verb constructions and converb constructions involving a verb with a primarily grammatical function were realised within single intonation units, regardless of whether the verbs were previously introduced in discourse. --- # Verbal Meaning #### Karbi Ant and the Frog 026
<img src="./karbi-ant.png" width="78%" height="78%" /> ??? We see in line e that we have the new event of taking a bath in line f, this event is repeated with the addition of the verb to finish, which is marked with a non-final marker this unit is then followed by the verb 'to come', used here lexically --- # Weakening Prosodic Boundaries A number of converb constructions were also distributed over two intonation units which were either "latched" or exhibited minimal pausing in between. -- #### Galo Origins 0289
<img src="./galo-menla.png" width="90%" height="90%" /> ??? difference in vowel quality within an IU, the vowel is reduced almost completely to the point of elision prior to a suspected boundary, we have a schwa annotated prior to a slightly stronger boundary, the vowel is not as weakened --- # Conclusion As it stands, the "one intonation unit" generalisation for serial verb constructions does hold for these languages.<br><br><br> -- However, the grammaticalisation pathway of clause chain to serial verb construction requires more nuance in its formulation in order to take into account discourse functions, as serial verb constructions should not be treated independently of other related multi-verbal expressions.<br><br><br> -- Without looking at how these constructions are realised in discourse, we lose sight of why speakers may opt for certain types of multi-verb expressions. This information is crucial for understanding the phenomenon of serial verb constructions. --- # References Barth-Weingarten, Dagmar. 2016. *Intonation Units Revisited: Cesuras in talk-in-interaction*. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Bodt, Timotheus A. 2020. *Grammar of Duhumbi (Chugpa)*. Leiden: Brill. Chafe, Wallace. 1994. *Discourse, consciousness, and time: the flow and displacement of conscious experience in speaking and writing*. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. DeLancey, Scott. 1991. The origins of verb serialization in Modern Tibetan. *Studies in Language* 15(1), 1–23. Givón, Talmy. 1991. Some substantive issues concerning verb serialization: Grammatical vs. cognitive packaging. In Claire Lefebvre (ed.), *Serial verb constructions: Grammatical, comparative and cognitive approaches*, 137–184. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. --- # References Hyslop, Gwendolyn. 2013. The Kurtöp *-si* construction: Converbs, clause-chains and verb serialization. In Timothy J. Thornes, Erik E. Andvik, Gwendolyn Hyslop, and Joana Jansen (eds.), *Functional-historical approaches to explanation: in honor of Scott DeLancey*, 155-178. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Konnerth, Linda. 2020. *A grammar of Karbi*. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Matisoff, James. 1969. Verb concatenation in Lahu: The syntax and semantics of 'simple' juxtaposition. *Acta Linguistica Hafniensa* 12(2), 69-120. Post, Mark W. 2007. A grammar of Galo. PhD Dissertation. Bundoora: La Trobe University. Reinöhl, Uta, Kirsten Culhane, Simon Fries, Naomi Peck and Maria Vollmer. In preparation. Serial verbs and 'flat' nominal expressions: Pushing the boundaries of information packaging? --- class: inverse, center, middle # Thank you! #### This research was supported by funding from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Project number 406074683, Emmy Noether-Gruppe "Non-hierarchicality in grammar: Construction formation without word class distinction across categories and languages".