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Renée Lambert Bretière: Clause linking in Kwoma

Friday, April 14, 2017
3:00 p.m.
SUNY Buffalo 280 Park Hall,

The Department of Linguistics will be hosting a colloquium talk on Friday, April 14th in 280 Park Hall, from 3:30 - 5 PM. We would be delighted if you could join us for:

Renée Lambert Bretière

University of Maryland at Baltimore

In this presentation, I analyze clause linking strategies in Kwoma, a Papuan language spoken in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. There are no discourse connectives in Kwoma. Initial adverbial clauses are used as a device to link successive clauses or sentences. I provide a description of adverbial clauses found in Kwoma with a particular focus on the linking adverbial clauses. I address the question of their structural variation in the light of their semantic and pragmatic features. Different types of adverbial clauses encode subtypes of temporal relationships. I show that adverbial clause linkage in Kwoma maintains event coherence, but at different degrees following a continuum with at one end sentence initial adverbial clauses expressing less event coherence, and at the other end pro-verb adverbial clauses linking highly coherent events.