The Distribution and Evolution of Oceanic Serial Verbs

Terry Crowley

in Serial Verbs in Oceanic

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780198241355
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191712050 | DOI:
 The Distribution and Evolution of Oceanic Serial Verbs

Show Summary Details


Given that serial verbs appear to be widely distributed only within the Oceanic languages, the question that arises in this chapter is where patterns such as those previously described for Paamese arise? This chapter examines whether the modern distribution of these kinds of patterns is the result of direct inheritance from a pattern which was acquired only once — presumably in Proto Oceanic — or whether Proto Oceanic itself was also a non-serializing language, with such patterns having been acquired independently in its various descendant languages. Basically, the languages of Micronesia and Polynesia provide little evidence for serial verb constructions. The non-Austronesian languages of Melanesia are well known for their extensive patterns of verb serialization. This chapter looks at previous surveys of Oceanic serial verbs, Admiralties languages, Western Oceanic languages, Central and Eastern Oceanic languages, and St. Mathias languages. The chapter concludes by determining what sorts of grammatical patterns can be reconstructed for Proto Oceanic languages, with emphasis on the reconstruction of syntax.

Keywords: Oceanic languages; serial verbs; verb serialization; Proto Oceanic languages; Admiralties; St. Mathias; grammatical patterns; syntax; serial verb constructions

Chapter.  17077 words. 

Subjects: Semantics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.