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By by Janessa L. Brown.

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Extra info for A brief sketch of Urama grammer with special consideration of particles marking agency, aspect, and modality

Sample text

PH4) These are consecutive sentences in a single text. In (106) umu ‘dog’ is the subject. We would not expect the ro to occur in (107) by the previous explanations. There is no ambiguity, as the only overt NP in the clause umu ‘dog’ is the actor/agent. This clause would score very low on the transitivity scale and should not merit the ro marker by that hypothesis. I suggest that bomo ‘pig’ has been so far defocused in (107) that it does not overtly appear in the clause, and umu ‘dog’ is being focused as the activity in the text heightens.

4 Transitivity In ditransitive clauses throughout the larger data corpus the frequency of ro occurrences is 87%. The less transitive the clause is, the lower the frequency of ro occurrences. This was illustrated in Table 6. In examining the frequency of ro occurring in transitive sentences it is significant that it occurs in simple transitive sentences far less frequently than in ditransitive sentences. Obviously, not all transitive clauses are equal. There are some clauses that are more transitive than others and this concept can contribute to our understanding of what factors trigger the appearance of the ro agentive marker.

In the sentence 24 This ditransitive percentage is calculated by taking the verbs from the three ditransitive clauses in the text and searching for all the occurences of those verbs in the larger data corpus. Of all of the times that these verbs occur in the larger data corpus, ro occurs within the clause 87% of the time. 25 According to Crystal (1997:153), formal ergativity is “a formal parallel between the object of a transitive verb and the subject of an intransitive one. ” 44 above both are present, and yet there is no agentive marker on the subject.

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A brief sketch of Urama grammer with special consideration of particles marking agency, aspect, and modality by by Janessa L. Brown.


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