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Transitivity and Discourse Continuity

in Chamorro Narratives
Empirical Approaches
to Language Typology
4

Editors
Georg Bossong
Bernard Comrie

Mouton de Gruyter
Berlin New York Amsterdam
Transitivity and
Discourse Continuity
in Chamorro Narratives

by
Ann M. Cooreman

Mouton de Gruyter
Berlin New York Amsterdam 1987
Mouton de Gruyter (formerly Mouton, The Hague)
is a Division of Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Cooreman, Ann M., 1957


Transitivity and discourse continuity in Chamorro narratives.

(Empirical approaches to language typology ; 4)


Bibliography: p.
Includes index.
1. Chamorro language Transitivity. 2. Chamorro language
Discourse analysis. 3. Chamorro language Passive voice. I. Title.
II. Series.
PL5295.1.066 1987 499'.21 87-20412
ISBN 0-89925-361-X (alk. paper)

CIP-Kur^titelaufnahme der Deutschen Bibliothek

Cooreman, Ann .:
Transitivity and discourse continuity in Chamorro narratives / by
Ann M. Cooreman. Berlin ; New York ; Amsterdam ; Mouton
de Gruyter, 1987. -
(Empirical approaches to language typology ; 4)
ISBN 3-11-011307-4
NE: GT

Printed on acid free paper.

Copyright 1987 by Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin. All rights reserved, including
those of translation into foreign languages. No part of this book may be reproduced in
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Printing: Ratzlow-Druck, Berlin. Binding: Dieter Mikolai, Berlin. Printed in Germany.
Acknowledgements

I wish to express my sincere thanks in the first place to Talmy Givon


who guided me through this project and who has been a real inspira-
tion in the course of my studies as a graduate student at the Univer-
sity of Oregon. Thanks are also due to Colette Craig who provided
both scholarly and moral support. In addition, I wish to express my
gratitude to Sandy Chung who was always willing to read my
manuscript and provide comments on the Chamorro data and my
analysis of them. I am also grateful to Bernard Comrie for many
helpful suggestions during the final revision of my dissertation before
the publication of the present monograph.
This project could not have been completed without the valuable
help of all the native speakers of Chamorro who were involved in the
research at one point or another. I wish to thank them for their pati-
ence, support and friendship. Last but not least I thank my husband
Kerry Kilborn for his continuous moral support when the going was
hardest.
This research was supported by a grant from the National Science
Foundation for the Improvement of Doctoral Dissertation Research,
BNS-8208781, and also by the Belgian National Fund for Scientific
Research.
Table of contents

Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Introduction 1
1. Functional approach to the study of language 1
2. Data base
3. Outline 7
Notes 9
Chapter 2: Methodology 11
1. Thematicity and topicality 11
2. Topicality and the quantitative method 12
3. Limitations to the quantitative method 20
Chapter 3: Chamorro morphology and syntax 22

1. Phonology 22
1.1. Phonemic inventory 22
1.2. Stress rule 24
1.3. I-umlaut 24
2. Morphology 25
2.1. The make-up of the noun phrase 25
2.2. Verb phrase morphology 34
2.3. Word order 55
Notes 56
Chapter 4: The role of topicality in a general comparison of
the coding devices of transitive propositions 57
1. Preliminaries 57
2. Quantitative results and graphs 60
3. Discussion 62
Vlll

3.1. The transitive construction 67


3.2. The antipassive construction 69
3.3. The passive construction 72
4. Preliminary conclusions 74
Notes 76
Chapter 5: Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro 80
1. Counterexamples to the general function of the
Chamorro passive 80
2. MA-passives as distinct from IN-passives 81
3. Topicality and obligatory passives 82
3.1. Number 86
3.2. Animacy 89
3.3. Pronouns and the hierarchy of topicality 92
4. Passives, topicality, and agentivity 103
4.1. Topic-shift 103
4.2. Second person Objects 109
4.3. Complement constructions Ill
4.4. Direct quotediscourse in narratives 113
Notes 114
Chapter 6: A functional look at the antipassive 116
1. Preliminaries 116
2. The indefinite antipassive 117
3. The demoting antipassive 119
3.1. Affectedness of the object 121
3.2. Identity of the Agent 126
3.3. A pragmatic functional correlate for the
demoting antipassive 128
4. Aspect 130
5. General function of the antipassive 132
ix

Notes 136
Chapter 7: Complex sentence constructions 139
1. The ergative infix -UM- 140
1.1. Complement clauses 140
1.2. Distribution of-UM- in other complex
clauses 157
1.3. General characteristics of the ergative
-UM- construction 169
2. Nominalizations 176
Notes 180
Chapter 8: Discoure organization and paragraph
thematicity 182
1. Thematicity and subject coding 183
1.1. Thematicity and the general rule of
topicality 184
1.2. Thematicity and the rule of topic-shift 189
1.3. Conclusions 191
2. Thematicity and subject inversion 193
Notes 209
Chapter 9: Conclusions 210
Appendix A: Sample story 215
Appendix B: List of Abbreviations 227
References 229
Index 241
Chapter One

Introduction

1. Functional approach to the study of language

The functional view on language, which encompasses many different


methods and is as yet not represented by a universally accepted unify-
ing theory (although attempts in this direction have been made, e.g.,
Dik 1978, 1980, 1983; Van Valin and Foley 1980; Foley and Van
Valin 1984; Givn 1979c, 1979b, 1983a, 1983b), contends that the
three major components of a language system, i.e., syntax (including
morphosyntax), semantics, and pragmatics, are connected in such a
way that changes in one generally entail concomitant changes in both
or one of the other components. Grammatical forms are thus studied
not as autonomous units, as has been done for many years by pro-
ponents of Transformational Grammar and some of its descendents,
rather, they are considered surface conventions which are constrained,
created and used in the service of communicative function. (See Dik
1978, 1980; Heath 1975, 1978; Foley and Van Valin 1980; Givon
1979c; among others.) Alternative syntactic patterns of a language
then must be viewed and described with respect to pragmatic and
semantic conditions on the occurrence of such patterns.
The present monograph is an exercise in functional grammar. It is
an investigation of the different forms by which transitive proposi-
tions can be coded 1 in the ergative Austronesian language Chamorro,
spoken on the Mariana Islands. There are seven different construc-
tions which will be discussed in the course of the present work: a) an
ergative construction (and its irrealis counterpart) which is a syntacti-
cally transitive construction, b) two different passives, c) an antipas-
sive construction, d) a non-finite construction which can be character-
ized on the basis of a special infix -um-, which I shall call the ergative
infix, and e) two types of nominalizations. Each of these construc-
tions will be described in Chapter 3.
2 1. Introduction

It is important at this point to make clear the distinction between


syntactically transitive sentences and constructions which encode
semantically transitive propositions. In Chamorro and other
languages of the world, the former can be characterized as containing
both a subject and a direct object, which are syntactic roles, and a
predicate. Transitive propositions include syntactically transitive sen-
tences but also other types of clauses which describe a state of affairs
in which at least two participants are involved, most frequently an
Agent and an Object, which are semantic roles. Sentences which
encode transitive propositions are not necessarily syntactically transi-
tive as well since the Agent and the Object may have been back-
grounded 2 resulting in detransitivized sentential structure.
Whether a proposition will be coded as a syntactically transitive
or intransitive construction may depend on a number of factors.
Hopper and Thompson (1980) introduced a number of semantic
parameters, scalar in nature, which determine the degree of transi-
tivity of a proposition. This degree of transitivity amounts to the
degree of effectiveness with which an action is transferred from one
participant to the other. Many languages are sensitive to one or more
of the set of properties described and discussed by Hopper and
Thompson, and the presence of one or more of these semantic
features, correlated with a decrease in the effectiveness with which the
action transfer takes place, may ultimately result in the choice of a
syntactically detransitivized clause type, often a passive or an
antipassive. Semantic features like these and their influence on the
choice of clause types in Chamorro will be discussed in this mono-
graph.
Other semantic considerations, such as the need to recover the
semantic case role of a referent which has been questioned, relativized,
or focussed, also play an important part in determining the form of
various complex clause types (i.e., WH-questions, relative clauses, and
focus constructions) and in delineating restrictions on their use in
Chamorro and other languages (Givon 1979c). (See also Chapter 7.)
The choice of syntactic forms in a language is not only constrained
by semantic considerations, pragmatic factors play an important role
as well. Even though the study of grammatical forms has long relied
Functional approach to language 3

on the use of single, isolated sentences and while this has proven to be
a fruitful paradigm in many regards, units of discourse larger than
single sentences have more utility from a functional perspective in elu-
cidating the role of such pragmatic factors.
There are many indications that the syntactic coding of transitive
propositions is not entirely independent of discourse context, e.g., the
topic status of both arguments in the clause. There are at least two
aspects involved in measuring the topic status of any referent in the
discourse: (a) the nature of the NP through which reference is made,
and (b) the status of this referent as given or new information in the
discourse register established between the interlocutors and the degree
of participation in the narrative (i.e., its degree of topicality).
In connection with the first aspect, there is evidence that certain
NP's coded by certain syntactic devices (e.g., pronouns) tend to occur
as topics in the discourse more often than others (e.g., indefinite
NP's). (See Givon (Ed.) 1983c.) In addition, linguists have observed
that certain semantic case roles (e.g., Agents) lend themselves better
to become topics in the narrative than others (e.g., Locatives, Instru-
mentals, etc.). Both observations have led to the ranking of these
syntactic devices and semantic case roles on two distinct hierarchies of
natural topics given in (1) and (2) respectively:

(1) O-anaphora > verb agreement > pronoun > def. full NP >
modified definite NP > indef. NP (Givon 1981, 1982)

(2) Agent > Dative > Patient > Other


(Hawkinson and Hyman 1974)

There are several indications of the importance of this natural topic


hierarchy with respect to syntax.
Hopper and Thompson (1980), as observed above, have related the
way transitive propositions are syntactically coded to the properties
of the Agent and the Object (among other things). Two of the
parameters involved in their analysis-- the degree of "individuation"
(see also Timberlake 1975), and the degree of "agency"can clearly be
correlated to the hierarchy of natural topics in (2). Furthermore,
4 1. Introduction

they noted that the way transitivity gets marked in the sentence is
dependent on the function of the sentence as a whole in the discourse,
which they ultimately relate back to the distinction between back-
grounded and foregrounded information.
In some ergative languages, the choice between ergative and non-
ergative markers in the clause coding a transitive proposition is also
dependent on the topic status of the two major arguments. To cite
one example of particular relevance: Chung (1980) claimed that in
Chamorro a "semantic filter" blocks sentences in which the Object is
of higher "individuation" than the Agent. This constraint correlates
with discourse-pragmatic restrictions as well, as it operates along the
same hierarchy of topicality. (See Chapters 4 and 5.) Chamorro
grammar seems to rule out sentences in which the Agent NP ranks
lower than the Object NP on this hierarchy. According to Chung,
antipassives and passives will be used instead of the ergative construc-
tion in these cases.
The same hierarchy of natural topics seems to be involved in the
explanation of split ergative systems. Based on the theory of marked-
ness, Silverstein (1976) set up a hierarchy of NP's which he called
"the hierarchy of features." He observed that in many languages with
split ergativity, those NP's which are the most marked in this system
tend to be involved in a nominative-accusative coding system. The
least marked NP's on the other hand, are syntactically coded along
ergative-absolutive lines. Since Silverstein's hierarchy matches the
hierarchy of natural topics in (1), one is led to conclude that the
different syntactic coding systems, ergative vs. nominative-
accusative, are motivated by the same functional properties. A plau-
sible candidate for the "glue" that holds this system together can be
found in the discourse context; as I will show in the following
chapters there is considerable evidence in Chamorro that the different
syntactic coding devices are related to the degree of topicality of the
major arguments in the transitive proposition. The items which axe
likely to be marked on a nominative-accusative basis are also more
likely to appear as topics in natural discourse. There is a very strong
correlation between the degree of topicality of certain kinds of
referents and their topic-worthiness in narratives. The degree of
Functional approach to language 5

topicality is based on concrete measurements carried out on actual


discourse data whereas the topic-worthiness of an NP is a more
abstract notion, which seems to be based essentially on linguists'
intuitions. A human definite noun is invariably higher in topic-
worthiness than, say, an indefinite inanimate object in narrative
discourse. Yet, it is not inconceivable for an inanimate object to have
a higher degree of topicality than a human referent in a particular
discourse. However, human referents, as a class, have a higher degree
of topicality than inanimate objects. It is safe to conclude that the
more abstract hierarchy of topic-worthiness is reflected in the results
of measuring the actual degree of topicality of the different types of
referents in narrative discourse (see Chapter 5 for examples).
There are two clear examples of languages in which the distinction
between "given" and "new." information provides a pragmatic
discourse-based constraint on the syntactic coding of transitive propo-
sitions.
Dixon (1973) observes that Dyirbal has a specific construction in
which the verb is marked with - j a y and which is used in a certain
type of sentence coordination. This particular construction has been
identified by Silverstein (1976) an antipassive and indicates that
the second sentence in the coordinated pair has a transitive
Agent/subject which is coreferential with either the absolutive Agent
of a previous intransitive clause, or the absolutive direct object of the
previous transitive clause. This particular antipassive construction is
thus involved in creating "topic-chains" (Dixon 1973: 79-81) and will
never be the first clause at the onset of a new discourse. There is also
some textual evidence that the Dyirbal antipassive marks an Object
as being very low in topicality. (See Cooreman [in preparation].)
According to Kalmar (1979, 1980), the converse of this principle
holds in Inuktituk (an Eskimo language). The Object in an antipas-
sive sentence may be definite or indefinite but is always a new item in
the discourse register established between the interlocutors. Text fre-
quency counts result in the observation that the antipassive is con-
strained to the first few clauses in discourse. Ergative sentences make
up the bulk of the stories.
6 1. Introduction

Chung's analysis of the choice between on the one hand ergative


and on the other hand non-ergative clause types, such as passives and
antipassives in Chamorro in certain environments, can be traced back
to the discourse notion of topicality. Below I will present quantita-
tive evidence that some syntactic devices for transitive propositions in
Chamorro may differ at least in one important pragmatic respect, i.e.,
differing relative degrees of topic continuity of the Agent and the
Object in the clause may correspond to the choice of one construction
over the others. Thus, it becomes evident that pragmatic factors
influence the syntactic transitivity of a proposition as well.

2. D a t a B a s e

The data used for the present study consists principally of 200 pages
of transcribed narratives told by various Chamorro speakers. These
narratives were collected on tape during a four month stay on the
Island of Saipan from October 1982 through January 1983. This pro-
ject was supported by a Grant for the Improvement of Doctoral
Dissertation Research from the National Science Foundation. The
data include legends and stories from the Mariana Islands and per-
sonal narratives as told by 12 different speakers ranging in age from
35 to 72, with various backgrounds: Connie Aldan (secretary),
Escolastica Cabrera (shopkeeper), Amalia Diaz (retired housewife),
Frank Diaz (businessman and former mayor of Saipan), Thomasa
Deleon Guerero (housewife), Maria Reyes (housewife), Maria Rosario
(assistant at the Bilingual Program), Francisco Sablan (farmer, fisher-
man), Luisi C. Sablan (cleaning lady), Jose Sablan (government
employee), Juan Sanchez (bus driver), Jacoba Songsong (from Rota,
housewife). Examples coming from these narratives will be cross-
referenced in this work according to page and line number in the tran-
scriptions which I have on file.
The narratives were transcribed from the tapes and morphologi-
cally analyzed with the help of four native speakers with whom I
worked on a regular basis: Maria Rosario, age 37, worked for the Bil-
ingual Program, section Social Studies, developing educational
Outline 7

materials in Chamorro. 5 She did most of the transcribing. Jovita


Masiwemai, age 35, was a second grade teacher in Chalan Laulau.
She worked with me on translations only. Frank Demapan taught
math and English at the Junior High School in Chalan Kanoa. He
worked as a native consultant previously for Jeanne Gibson. He
helped with the translations and morphological analysis of the texts.
I also conducted some direct elicitation sessions with him. Henry
Sablan had an M.A. in Anthropology from San Jose State University
and was appointed Superintendent for the Saipan school district while
I was there. He had very good natural insights in the language and
together we tried to get at some of the finer points of grammar
through direct elicitation. He also helped me with translations. Sen-
tences which resulted from direct elicitation sessions with Frank and
Henry were always checked later on with other speakers. Direct elici-
tation was a necessary data source to provide a more complete
analysis of some constructions which will be discussed in the following
chapters. The narratives did not provide the full array of possible
uses of each construction.
In addition to the four people I met with regularly while on loca-
tion in Saipan, there were others who helped me in my research after I
left the island when I was in Germany and in the U.S.. These people
were invaluable and deserve being mentioned here as well: Joaquin
Villagomez and his wife Diana, who were stationed with the U.S.
Army in Augsburg, and Maggie Chong, whose husband was stationed
in Schweinfurt. In San Diego I worked mostly with Francisco Sablan
(originally from Guam) and Tony Cabrera, a student from Saipan.

3. Outline

The next chapter deals with the quantitative method (proposed by


Givon) which has been applied to the narratives in order to provide a
partial pragmatic explanation for the existence and usage of four
different constructions which realize similar transitive propositions in
main clauses in Chamorro.
8 1. Introduction

Chapter 3 gives a brief overview of the morphology and mor-


phosyntax of Chamorro.
In Chapter 4 I will give quantitative evidence for the
differentiation of four constructions in Chamorro according to the
relative degree of topicality of the Agent and the Object in the propo-
sition which they encode. The degree of topicality is assessed by
means of two separate measurements explained and exemplified in
Chapter 2. In addition, it is shown that the phenomenon of syntactic
transitivity is contingent upon both semantic and pragmatic condi-
tions.
Chapter 5 analyzes in more detail the two passive constructions
and I will show that a number of obligatory passives in Chamorro can
be explained in terms of the topicality hierarchy which predicts that
referents placed high on this hierarchy are preferred to appear in sub-
ject position over referents which occur low on the scale.
Chapter 6 explores in more depth the occurrence of antipassive
constructions in Chamorro. This construction is explained in terms of
decreasing the degree of syntactic transitivity and is dependent on
several factors, involving the identity of the Agent and the Object
referent, which are discussed separately.
Chapter 7 deals with the morphology of complex clauses such as
relative clauses, complements, WH-questions, and focus constructions.
I will attempt to find general semantic and pragmatic grounds for the
occurrence of identical morphology in these syntactically different
constructions.
In Chapter 8, attention will be given to two separate phenomena
which can both be explained in terms of "paragraph thematicity." In
the first place I will discuss examples which do not conform to the
predictions made in Chapter 5, on the basis of the quantitative
method, that the referent with the highest degree of topicality will be
selected as syntactic subject in the clause. Secondly, I will compare
the two major word order patterns in Chamorro narratives and pro-
vide a functional explanation for their occurrence.
Notes 9

Notes

1. The terms "coding" (or alternatively "encoding") are used


throughout this monograph to refer to the actual linguistic form
which is used to convey certain underlying semantic configurations
or certain pragmatic functions. For instance, when the Object of
a proposition is pragmatically more important than the Agent in
English, a passive is often used. The passive must be used when
the speaker does not identify the Agent. Thus, the passive can
code a proposition in which the Object is more important than the
Agent.

2. The definition of "backgrounding" in this monograph is based on


narrative discourse only and is not necessarily applicable to other
types of texts (e.g., conversations, scientific texts, etc.). The term
is used in two distinct ways: (a) backgrounding (as opposed to
foregrounding) of sentences, and (b) backgrounding of participant
constituents. The former type of backgrounding occurs at the
level of the discourse and is discussed in more detail by Hopper
and Thompson (1980). Backgrounded clauses contain information
which does not add to the development of the narrative. They
provide background information in the form of descriptions,
digressions, explanations, etc. (See also Chapter 4.)
Participants are backgrounded when they are less important in the
narrative: e.g., Agents whose identity in the narrative is only cir-
cumstantial or generic Objects which are not uniquely identified
and as such cannot have as much of an impact as singular definite
Objects. Syntactically these backgrounded participants axe usu-
ally marked in some way. In Chamorro backgrounded Agents are
not coded as subjects of the clause and backgrounded Objects are
not coded as direct objects. Both are in addition marked by the
Oblique case marker nu which is preposed to the NP.

3. Until recently, English was the only language used in the school
system. The Bilingual program on Saipan promotes the teaching
of both Chamorro and Carolinian (used by a minority of speakers
on the Island), and was initiated several years ago. Some subjects
10 1. Introduction

are now taught in Chamorro or Carolinian in grade school. High


school classes are still conducted exclusively in English. A similar
program exists on Guam as well and there is a special committee
comprised of both Guamanians and Saipanese which discusses
issues and problems concerning bilingual education.
Chapter T w o

Methodology

1. T h e m a t i c i t y and topicality

The theoretical basis of this monograph, as explained in Chapter 1, is


the assumption that different syntactic structures may code different
semantic and pragmatic functions. In order to characterize the
Chamorro constructions which I propose to study in this monograph,
it is necessary to look at how the Chamorro speaker exploits these
different devices to accommodate his communicative needs.
The different constructions are coding devices used at the level of
the clause. However, speakers do not string clauses together in a
haphazard way. Rather, these clauses are combined in such a way as
to form larger discourse structural units such as paragraphs (Longacre
1979), which in turn can be combined to make up a story (or a
chapter in a book). The reason why we, as listeners, can recognize
the beginning and end of such paragraphs is mainly due to the fact
that each paragraph can be identified through a unifying principle
called theme. (This notion of theme is quite different from what Hal-
liday and some members of the Prague School chose to call theme.)
Even though in some languages the boundaries of the thematic
paragraph can be marked grammatically (e.g., with special mor-
phemes attached somewhere in the initial and/or final clause of the
paragraph [see Longacre 1979]), in most languages, English and
Chamorro being no exception, we have to rely on other information.
The somewhat vague notion of thematic unity is often realized more
concretely through other unifying principles in the paragraph. First of
all, the events described in the paragraph are logically connected in
some sense: the activities are somehow part of a larger scheme, they
are commonly continuous and therefore presented in consecutive
order. A change in action may result in a paragraph break or the
start of a new paragraph. Secondly, the paragraph is often concerned
12 2. Methodology

with one or more major referents (most often animate). Shifting the
attention from one major referent to another may result in a change
of action as well, which in turn may or may not result in the start of
a new paragraph. Thus, referential continuity often reflects thematic
continuity in the paragraph. Both are discourse structuring princi-
ples. However, since referents are concrete in the narrative, their con-
tinuity is more easily assessed than the less obvious and sometimes
abstract theme in the paragraph or the text as a whole.
Givon's quantitative method, which can assess the referential con-
tinuity or degree of topicality of the arguments in any clause, will
help to unearth several general tendencies which show that the choice
of some constructions in the narrative is largely dependent on the
relative degree of topicality of the two major participants in the tran-
sitive proposition. Thus, the Chamorro speaker can manipulate the
syntactic constructions as discourse structure coding devices.
I need to point out here that ifas suggestedthe choice of one
construction over the others is largely dictated by the structure of the
discourse, and provided that referential continuity is only a partial
reflection of a higher discourse organizing principle, i.e., that of
thematicity, then we cannot and should not expect that the general
tendencies uncovered by the assessment of the degree of topicality of
the participants in transitive propositions can account for every
instance of a particular construction in its given discourse environ-
ment. We may expect deviations from certain regularities predicted
by the quantitative assessment of topicality to occur which may in
turn be related to and explained in terms of the thematic unity of the
paragraph or the narrative as a whole. (See Chapter 8 for examples.)

2. Topicality and the quantitative m e t h o d

The quantitative method in this monograph will be used to show the


functional difference between four syntactic constructions coding simi-
lar transitive propositions in Chamorro at the level of discourse. As I
will show below (see Chapter 4) these constructions differ in general
Topicality and the quantitative method 13

according to the relative degree of topicality of the two major partici-


pants in the proposition, i.e., the Agent and the Object.
The quantitative method was proposed by Givon (1979c, 1980c,
1983c) and provides an operational characterization of topicality.
The notion of topic in Givon's framework is a scalar one (unlike the
view presented in works of various members of the Prague School
such as Danes [1964], Firbas [1966], Sgall [1974], and Sgall and
Hajicova [1977], and in the contributions in Li [Ed.] [1976]). It is
based on the assumption t h a t each N P has a degree of topicality
within the discourse environment and provides an adequate, empirical
method to measure this degree of topicality for any N P in the
discourse. Each NP, even when introduced for the first time and pos-
sibly functioning as 'focus' or 'comment' (in the sense of the tradi-
tional correlation of 'topic-comment' or 'topic-focus') can be meas-
ured in terms of its degree of topicality.
T h e relative degree of topicality of a referent can be understood as
the relative importance or contribution of a referent to the narrative.
Since importance is a rather abstract notion and cannot be measured,
Givon has tried to identify certain structural features which correlate
with highly topical or important referents. Such important referents
provide continuity to the narrative discourse since they are referred to
more often than referents which are not so important. This also
means t h a t at any given moment during the narrative the referential
identity of highly topical elements will most likely be known, i.e., it is
highly probable t h a t the referent has been mentioned previously in
the discourse context. (We must note, however, that other principles
besides referential continuity exist which provide discourse con-
tinuity.)
Based on these observations, Givon proposed a quantitative
method in order to measure the extent to which each N P functions in
establishing textual coherence at the participant level. There are two
measurements which have been applied to 200 pages of Chamorro
narrative discourse. Each of the measurements reflects a different
aspect of coherence: (a) referential distance reflects anaphoric coher-
ence (look-back) and (b) topic persistence reflects cataphoric coher-
ence (look-ahead).
14 2. Methodology

The parameter of referential distance measures the degree of con-


tinuity of the topic N P in terms of how many clauses intervene to the
left between the last mention of the N P and the new reference to it in
the clause under study. The reference to any given N P can be coded
by a variety of morphosyntactic devices ranging from 0-anaphora to
indefinite NP's. The former mark highly continuous topics with a low
value for referential distance, rarely higher than 1 or 2. Indefinite
N P ' s mark anaphorically highly discontinuous topics since they are
always new in the discourse. Presumably, the value for referential
distance for Indefinite N P ' s could be infinite. Since we cannot deal
with infinity if we want to compare different coding devices on the
basis of overall averages of the measurements (because one instance of
infinity would turn the average into infinity as well), the maximum
value for referential distance is set arbitrarily at 20 for practical pur-
poses. Psychologically, the measurement of referential distance
roughly measures the speaker's assessment of the ease with which the
hearer can identify the referent of a particular argument in the clause.
Psychologists have shown t h a t the less recently an item has been
mentioned, the harder it is for the hearer to remember and identify
this element (Houston 1976:288; Klatzky 1975: 19; both cited in Kirs-
ner 1979). We can conceive of fragments of discourse as files in the
short term memory in which information at the beginning of a file is
gradually lost as new information is added. Presumably, the hearer
will treat referents which are separated by more than 20 clauses from
their previous mention as new topics in the discourse environment
and there is evidence that these are indeed coded syntactically in the
same way by the speaker. (See Givon 1983b, footnote 6.) There are
reasons to believe that the maximum value of 20 is actually overes-
timated since the average value of the most discontinuous topic dev-
ices, i.e., definite N P ' s which reintroduce a topic into the discourse
after a relatively long gap, is around 15 to 17 clauses. (See Givon
1983b, footnote 6.) Since Indefinite NP's are always new in the
discourse, they automatically get the value 20 assigned to them for
referential distance. In addition, items which are actually mentioned
prior to 20 clauses to the left of the new reference will also be assigned
the arbitrary maximal value.
Topicality and the quantitative method 15

The parameter of topic persistence involves the persistence of the


N P as a topic, i.e., how many contiguous clauses to the right of the
clause containing the N P will persist in having the same referent as
an argument in the proposition, regardless of its semantic or syntactic
role and regardless of its morphosyntactic form (this allows for 0-
anaphora). The minimum value is, of course, 0 for discontinuous
topics and there is no upper boundary for the value of persistence of
any given NP. T h e parameter of persistence is roughly related to the
speaker's intention in language production, i.e., the way (s)he plans
ahead which entities should be important and thus continued as
topics in the narrative sequel.
One would expect t h a t important topics occur frequently in the
text so that they tend to show a relatively low value for referential
distance and a relatively high one for topic persistence. This correla-
tion between the two measurements is not as strong as this even
though the tables and graphs in Chapter 4 seem to support it. One
needs to bear in mind that these tables and graphs only represent
averages and do not do justice to individual topics or even sub-
categories of topics. There is a much stronger correlation between the
values for the two measurements and the position of the topic in the
thematic paragraph. At the beginning of a paragraph an important
topic may be newly introduced and thus have a fairly high value for
referential distance (potentially even the maximal value of 20) and a
high one for topical persistence if it is maintained as a topic in a
number of consecutive clauses. Thus, an N P which is anaphorically
low in topicality, characterized by a high value for referential dis-
tance, does not necessarily have a low value for topic persistence.
Indefinite NP's may introduce new elements in the discourse which
turn out to be highly important and thus highly continuous in the
discourse sequel causing a relatively high value for topic persistence.
In the middle of a paragraph a highly topical referent may be charac-
terized by a low value for referential distance and a fairly medium one
for topical persistence. Finally, a highly continuous referent at the
end of a paragraph (or story) may have a low value for referential dis-
tance and an equally low value for topic persistence if a change in
scene implies a change of participants as well.
16 2. Methodology

To illustrate how the quantitative method works, I have selected a


fragment of Chamorro narrative in which 1 will assess the values for
referential distance and topic persistence of a few items.

(1) Un dia tm peskadot h-um- anao


one day a fisherman SING-go
huyom gi- kantu-n taei.
out LOC- LINK edge-N sea
'One day a fisherman went out to the beach.'

(2) para u- peska para i


IRR IRR. 3s- fish for the
eeha -n- hiha yan i familia.
supper-N- 3P1.POS and the family
'to catch some fish for his and his family's supper.'

(3) Pa'go t-um- unok i atdao ya


now SING-down the sun and
'The sun had just set and'

(4) got maoltk i tasi para


and very good the sea
'and the ocean was very good'

(5) p-um- eska guthi na puengi.


E.I.- fish there LINK night
'for fishing that night.'

(6) Ha- chule' t talaya- na


E.3s- take the net- 3s.POS
'He took his net'

(7) ya h- um- anao huyom


and SING- go out
'and went out'
Topicality and the quantitative method 17

ya sigi di ha- 'atan manu


and keep E.3s- look where
guatu na maolek
there LINK good
'and kept looking for a good place'

(9) para u- dagao


IRR IRR. 3s- throw
'to throw (his net)'

(10) anai etna mangonne' guihan.


where can A.P.-catch fish
'where he could catch some fish.' (V.21;10-14)

In (1) the fisherman is mentioned for the first time in the story. This
referent gets the maximum value for referential distance, namely 20.
In clause (2) we see another reference to the fisherman in the form of
subject agreement on the irrealis verb (i.e., u-). We do not get a new
mention of this particular referent until clause (6). Thus the value for
topical persistence for the peekadot in clause (l) is 1. In clause (3) the
sun is mentioned for the first time in the story but is not referred to
again in the remainder of the narrative. Thus its value for referential
distance is 20 and for topic persistence it is 0. In (6) we return to the
fisherman in the form of verb agreement (i.e., ha-, which is the erga-
tive agreement marker for third person singular referents). Since
there are three clauses which come between this new reference to the
fisherman and the previous one in clause (2), the referential value for
the fisherman in clause (6) is 3. The topic persistence value is 4 since
the referent is an argument of the predicate (viz. subject in each case)
in the next four clauses of our text sample here. The net is mentioned
for the first time in clause (6) and is not referred to again until clause
(9). Thus we get 20 and 0 respectively as values for referential dis-
tance and topic persistence for the referent net in clause (6). When it
is mentioned again in clause (9) under the form of a 0-anaphor, the
referential distance is 3 and as far as our excerpt goes the value for
topic persistence is 0.
18 2. Methodology

Before giving the numerical results of the application of the quan-


titative method I should point out that the terms Agent and Object
are used in this monograph in a broad sense. In the majority of pro-
positions taken into consideration and subjected to the two measure-
ments of the quantitative method, Agent and Object refer to the
semantic case roles of Agent and Patient respectively as they have
been defined traditionally (e.g., Fillmore 1968). In addition, the term
Agent also covers those NP's which act as Dative-Experiencer sub-
jects, e.g. / in sentences like (11):

(11) I saw the man.

and those NP's which are inanimate Instruments functioning as sub-


ject of an active clause or Oblique Agent of a passive clause. Exam-
ples:

(12) The wind opened the door.

(13) The trees were broken by the s t o r m .

Similarly, the term Object also covers NP's whose semantic role is
that of Dative-Beneficiary in direct object position of an active clause
and subject position of a passive clause. Compare:

(14) The man gave the book to me.


(Patient Object in direct object position)

(15) The man gave me the book.


(Dative Object in direct object position)

(16) The book was given to me by the man.


(Patient Object in subject position)

(17) I was given the book by the man.


(Dative Object in subject position)

From a universal point of view, using Agent and Object as cover


terms for essentially different semantic roles is potentially problematic
Topicality and the quantitative method 19

sinceto forward only one potential objection to such practicein


many languages Dative-Experiencers do not necessarily get the same
morphosyntactic marking as Agents.
The purpose of this monograph is to analyze all the constructions
which code semantically transitive propositions and this includes all
sentences which are syntactically transitive as well. Since in
Chamorro, as in English, Dative-Experiencers like I in sentence (11)
are coded as subjects in active transitive clauses, I have considered
them on a par with the semantic case role of Agent proper. Similarly,
since in Chamorro (and in English also) Instruments are readily coded
as subjects in transitive active clauses in which no animate Agent is
present, they too have been analyzed the same way. To further set
the mind of any potential objector at ease, I should point out that
there were very few clauses which contained an NP with such a ques-
tionable Agentive status the narratives. If excluded the quantitative
analysis would have yielded the same results. Moreover, when con-
sidered separately, these clauses patterned in very much the same way
as clauses with proper Agents as far as the relative degree of topical-
ity of the participants was concerned.
The case of Dative-Beneficiaries in direct object or subject position
being treated on a par with Patients, is slightly more complex.
Whereas there are no Agents with which Instruments and Dative-
Experiencers can compete for primary topic status (coded by the syn-
tactic role of subject in the majority of instances), there are proposi-
tions in which both a Patient and a Dative-Beneficiary are candidates
to become the direct object of a transitive active sentence or the sub-
ject of a passive one. The choice of one over the other to become
either direct object or subject in the clause depends on the relative
importance which the speaker attaches to each. The two participants
then are rivals for the status of secondary topic (i.e., direct object) in
active clauses and primary topic (i.e., subject) in passives. The choice
of one as being more topical than the other has no direct bearing on
the choice of syntactic construction per se. Only the relative degree of
topicality of the Agent and the Object, regardless of its proper seman-
tic role as Patient or Dative-Beneficiary, turns out to have any bear-
ing on this particular choice.
20 2. Methodology

When the Dative-Beneficiary is the Object, Dative shifting has


occurred, in Chamorro often marked by the promotional suffix -t on
the verb. (See Chapter 3.) Compare:

(18) Baihu- chule' i lepblo para hagu.


IRR. Is- bring the book to/for EMP.2s
will bring the book to/for you.'

(19) Baihu- chule' -t hao i lepblo.


IRR. Is- bring- PRO A.2s the book
will bring you the book.'

One would expect a difference in average values for the two quantita-
tive measurements of the Dative-Beneficiary pointing towards a
higher degree of topicality when it has been shifted as compared to
when it has not. (See Givon 1981.) Unfortunately, the data collected
did not provide enough instances to empirically validate this expecta-
tion in Chamorro.

3. Limitations to the quantitative method

There are some obvious limits to the quantitative method as it will be


used here to analyze narrative discourse. First of all, its application is
restricted to third person referents. First and second person referents
are always to some extent topical in the sense that there is always an
(speaker) and a 'you' (hearer) by virtue of the narrative situation
at any given time in the communicative act. The degree of topicality
of these and 'you' participants with respect to third person
referents cannot be measured by counting sentences to the left and
finding previous reference to the interlocutors, since they are always
'given' pragmatically at any point in the discourse and can be easily
identified by the hearer.
A second restriction, which has already been pointed out above, is
that the quantitative method can only assess the degree of topicality
of any given referent on the clausal level. The way in which
Limitations to the quantitative method 21

paragraph or story themes interact with topics cannot be easily


assessed. It is obvious that the highest, most frequent topical element
has the best chance of serving as the paragraph level theme as well.
One cannot ignore the fact that deviations from certain regularities
unearthed by the quantitative method may ultimately be due to and
explained in terms of the interaction with thematicity on the higher
level of the paragraph. I will discuss this possibility further in
Chapter 8.
Chapter Three

Chamorro morphology and syntax

The purpose of the present chapter is to give a brief sketch of the


basic phonology and morphology in order to facilitate the reader's
understanding of the examples presented throughout this dissertation
and of the sample text provided in Appendix A. Most, if not all, of
the material covered here is not new but has been presented by oth-
ers.1 It is clear that I owe many of my initial insights to these col-
leagues.
Examples given throughout this chapter come from my own field-
work unless otherwise indicated. Sentences from the texts which I
collected during my stay on Saipan will be indicated by reference to
the page and line number in my data base between parentheses.

1. Phonology

1.1. Phonemic inventory

1.1.1. Vowels. Chamorro has six distinct phonemic vowels and two
diphthongs represented in the diagram below. The left hand column
presents the spelling convention, the right hand column the phonetic
symbols.

(1) i [i] u [u]


e [c] []
a [a] a [a] ai [ay] ao [aw]

The spelling system currently used on the islands and developed by


the Marianas Orthography Committee, headed by Donald Topping in
1971, does not distinguish between the two low vowels, a phonetic
Phonology 23

distinction which is only upheld when the vowels are in stressed posi-
tion:

(2) baba [baba] 'bad'


baba [baba] 'open'

The phonetic output of the non-low vowel phonemes is also a matter


of debate. For the most part they are predictable in native words:
when stressed in closed syllables they are mid, in open syllables they
are high. A number of articles have been written on this phonetic
variation but consensus on how to deal with the issue has not yet
been reached. (See Newman 1977; Topping 1973; Witucki 1972;
Chung 1978b; and Latta 1972.) As a result of this problematic issue,
the spelling of Chamorro words in the presently used system is not
always consistent. (See Topping et al. 1975, Introduction.)
In this monograph I have opted to use the spelling system pro-
posed by Topping and his colleagues for practical reasons. Most of
the texts I gathered were transcribed independently by native speak-
ers who are familiar with the spelling rules of this system. Many of
them have been trained as teachers of Chamorro in the Bilingual Pro-
gram recently started on the Mariana Islands.

1.1.2. The consonant inventory is displayed in (3)

(3) 1 1 1 1 1 1
"3 ;
* > > s
rz is >, bo
-Q .2
x>
J

stop t d k g '
b d g
gu(gw)
affricate ch[ts] y[dz]
fricative f s h
nasal m ng
liquid 1 r
24 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

1.2. Street rule

The majority of words conform to a simple rule which assigns stress


to the penultimate syllable. Moreover, the stress shifts to the right
when suffixes are attached:

(4) t ga'lagu vs. t ga 'lag- ha


the dog the dog- Ss.POS
'the dog' 'his dog'

In a number of words stress is unpredictable. These exceptions have


intrinsic stress which either precedes or follows the penultimate syll-
able. Examples:

(5) hfragu 'stranger, outsider'

(6) aet 'blue'

(7) sagua 'to get married'


(but aihgua 'spouse')

Syllabic stress also determines the formation of the imperfective but


this morphological form will be discussed later in this chapter.

l.S. I-umlaut

In Chamorro, fronting of back stressed vowels is induced by the pres-


ence of certain morphemes preceding the stressed syllable. The
triggering morphemes include: , 'the'; gt, the locative case marker; m,
the oblique case marker; the infix --, either as nominalizer or passive
marker; -, first person plural ergative and irrealis agreement marker;
and en- (pronounced [in] as well), the second person plural ergative
and irrealis agreement marker. Examples in (8)-(13).
Morphology 25

(8) kommon 'toilet'


i kemmon 'the toilet'

(9) guma' 'house'


gt gima' 'at/to/in the house'

(10) katta [a] 'letter'


t katta [a] 'the letter'

(11) oppe 'answer'


i ineppeku 'my answer'

(12) pulan 'watch'


upinillan 'he will be watched'

(13) loffan 'carry'


inleffan 'we carried'

Some additional phonological rules will be described when the mor-


phemes which they affect are discussed in the next section on mor-
phology.

2. M o r p h o l o g y

2.1. The make-up of the noun phrase

2.1.1. Noun markers. Indefinite NP's are generally not marked for
case in Chamorro. They are, however, optionally preceded by an
indefinite article un.
Within the definite NP's three categories should be distinguished:
pronouns, proper names, and NP's containing common nouns. The
class of proper names also includes, for purposes of morphology, those
nouns which refer to specific individuals such as father, mother, pri-
est, to whom in general a lot of respect and reverence are accorded.
The case markers for definite NP's take the following forms:
26 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

(14) Case Markers

Unmarked Oblique Locative


Pronouns 0 nu giya
Common Nouns 0 ni(=nu+i) gi
Proper Names si at gias

The unmarked definite common nouns are in general preceded by the


definite article t, also incorporated into the Oblique marker ni. The
unmarked case is used for grammatical relations such as subject,
direct object, and prepositional objects which may be accompanied by
a variety of prepositions. However, a few prepositions such as ginen,
'from' require the oblique case marker for proper names.
The oblique case is used for so-called "demoted" NP's like Objects
in antipassive constructions or in active transitive constructions after
dative movement has applied. It is also used for instruments, agents
of passives, and direct objects in nominalizations. Sometimes the
locative marker is used instead of the oblique to indicate such
demoted Object or Agent NP's. Locatives mark locations in time and
space. Examples:

(15) et Matilde i katta


E.Ss-put UNM Matilde the letter
9* halom ltpblo-n nubena.
hoc inside book- novena
'Matilde put the letter inside a novena book.' (26;13)

(16) Ni- na'i at Joaquin un


PAS- give OBL a
katta.
letter
'She was given a letter by Jack.' (26;12)

(17) Mang- guaiya yo> nu hagu.


A.P.- love A.Is OBL EMP.:
am in love with you. ' (28;33)
Morphology 27

Place names in the locative case are always preceded by the marker
giya. An unmarked case marker specific for place names is also avail-
able, viz. iya, but is only optionally used.

(18) Man- ma- po'lo guini giya Tanapcg.


PI- PAS-put here LOC
'They were placed/relocated here in Tanapeg.'
(149;85)

/ amerikanu ma- ditidi na


the Americans E.3P1- decide COMP
para uma- chule' tatte iya
IRR IRR.3pl- take back UNM
Guam, Tinian, Saipan, yan Luta.
Guam Tinian Saipan and Rota
'The Americans decided to take Guam,
Tinian, Saipan and Rota back.' (V.16;39-40)

Besides case markers, Chamorro also has two classifiers which are
occasionally used: na' and ga'. The first refers to edible things, the
second to animals used as pets (e.g., ga' is a recognizable part in the
word ga'lagu 'dog'; lagu means 'west' on Saipan, so the etymology of
the word may be 'animal used as pet in the west.') The word itself is
now inseparable and considered one root). Thus one can make a clear
distinction in Chamorro between a chicken which is intended for con-
sumption, and one which is raised as a pet.

(20) t ga' mannok- hu


the CI chicken- ls.POS
'my pet chicken'

(21) * na' mannok- hu


the CI chicken- ls.POS
'my chicken which I will eat'

Both classifiers can be used by themselves to replace a more specific


noun naming the type of food or pet respectively.
28 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

(22) t na'-mu
'your food'

(23) t ga'-ha
'his pet'

.1.2. Plural noun phraact. The majority of nouns in narratives are


not marked for number. However, the prefix man can be used to indi-
cate explicitly when a referent is plural in the clause. Optionally, the
referent is sometimes followed by the pronominal form tiha to indi-
cate plurality. Once in a while both plural markers, namely the
prefix man- and the form etha suffixed to the noun, occur together
accompanying one nominal stem. (See example [24] below.) The
prefix man exhibits nasal assimilation with initial obstruents of the
noun stem which it precedes. The voiceless obstruents are, as a
result, deleted. See examples in (24).

(24) /man+babui/ > mambabui


PL +pig 'pigs'
/man+pale'/ mamale'
PL + priest 'priests'
/man+santos/ > mahantoe
PI +saint 'saints'
/man+tano'/ > manano'
PL +land 'lands/countries'
/man-fguihan/ > mangguthan
PL -(-fish 'fish'
/man+katta/ > mangatta
PL -fletter 'letters'

A small number of nouns have a special form which is always used


when the referent is plural (see [25]).
Morphology 29

(25) palao'an 'woman' famalao'an 'women'


lahi 'man' lalahi 'men'
patgon 'child' famagu'on 'children'

Nouns can be used as predicates as well. When the subject referent is


plural the prefix man is also used on the predicate noun. The
occurrence of man- in the nominal predicate should be interpreted not
as a plural nominal marker, but as a verbal agreement marker with a
plural subject of an intransitive clause. (See section 2.2 below.)

(26) Man- doktu tte i lalahi.


PI- doctor this the men
'These men are doctors.'

2.1.3. Noun modification. Nouns can be preceded or followed by


their modifiers. When a noun is preceded by an adjective or demon-
strative, a linking particle na is inserted between modifier and nomi-
nal head.

(27) ayu na palao'an


that LINK woman
'that woman'

(28) un dikikt' na patgon


a small LINK child
'a small child'

An alternative way of modification is available in which the head pre-


cedes the modifier. The linking particle na may be used here as well
or may be replaced by an epenthetic -n- when the head noun ends in
a vowel or diphthong:

(29) t katu-n dankolo


the cat- big
'the big cat'
SO 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

(30) pthano-n attilon


scarf- black
'black scarf

(31) t palao'an bunita


the woman beautiful
'the pretty woman'

The epenthetic -n- is sometimes used on the adjective when it pre-


cedes the noun, thus replacing the linker na:

(32) bunita- palao'an


pretty-N woman
'pretty woman'

When a series of adjectives accompany the noun , most of the time


one will precede, the other(s) follow the head:

(33) Eetaba un dankolo-n katu


there was a big- cat
na apaka' na gof bunttu.
LINK white LINK very beautiful
'There was a big, white, very beautiful cat.' (184; 195)

2.I.4. Nominalizatione. Verbal roots can be used to form nouns.


There are two types of nominalizations, one which involves the
infixation of the morpheme -in- and one which is based on the bare
stem of the verb. As previously described, the nominalizing infix
triggers i-umlaut in the stem of the verb.

(34) eutedi 'experience' i-in-esedi 'event'


oppt 'answer' t in-tppt-ku 'my answer'
malago' 'want' imalago-ha 'the thing
he wants'
Morphology 31

(35) a. Ha- fahan i palao'an


E.3s- buy the woman
i niyok.
the coconut
'The woman bought the coconut.'
b. F- tn- ahan- ha
NOM- buy- 3s.POS
fli palao'an ni niyok.
the woman OBL coconut
'The woman's buying of the coconut.'

Direct objects in nominalizations are marked for the oblique case as


shown in (35) b. Nominalizations are also used in certain types of
complex clauses.

2.1.5. Pronount. Chamorro has three sets of pronominal forms: abso-


lutive, emphatic, and possessive. Within the pronominal system there
is indication that Chamorro is a morphologically ergative language
since subjects of intransitive clauses have the same pronominal form
as direct objects of transitive clauses whereas there is no separate
morphological form for the transitive subjects which are indicated
through verb agreement alone. The pronominal forms which function
as direct objects of transitives and subjects of intransitives are called
absolutive pronouns, in line with the terminology currently used in
the literature dealing with ergativity. (See Dixon 1979b; Comrie
1978.)

(36) Absolutive Pronouns

Singular Plural
First Person yo' hit (ine I.)/ham (txcl.)
Second Person hao hamyo
Third Person gut' siha

Emphatic pronouns can be used as nominal predicates in focus con-


structions which emphasize the identity of the Agent or the Object
32 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

referent, in which case they are obligatorily shifted to initial position


in the clause as in example (37). They are also used as prepositional
objects, oblique objects, and locatives.
The phonological shape of many of the ergative and irrealis agree-
ment prefixes in Chamorro suggest that they may be shortened forms
of the emphatic full pronouns (e.g. emphatic first singular guahu vs.
ergative first singular hu-). Moreover, the agreement prefixes on verbs
in syntactically transitive clauses mark agreement with the subject in
person and number so that ambiguity arises only when both a female
and a male participant are present in the proposition. These two facts
may explain why separate pronominal subjects do not occur in such
constructions.
All three sets of pronouns show person and number, but not
gender:

(37) Emphatic Pronouns

Singular Plural
First Person guahu hita(incl.)/hami(txcl.)
Second Person hagu hamyo
Third Person gutya tiha

Examples:

(38) Ha- guaiya yo\


E.Ss- love A. Is
'He loves me.'

(39) Hu- guaiya gut'.


E.ls- love A.3s
love him.'

(40) Mu- nangu hao.


SING- swim A.2s
'You swim/swam.'
Morphology 33

(41) Guahu g- urn- anna i gera.


EMP.ls E.I.- win the war
was the one who won the war.' (72;219)

(42) Sen mang- guaiya yo' nu hagu.


very A.P.- love A. Is OBL EMP.2s
am very much in love with you.' (28;33)

Possessive pronouns axe most often used to indicate pronominal pos-


sessors and are suffixed to the nominal head. They are also used to
indicate subjects of nominalizations (see [31] b.) and of a few irregular
verbs such as Utk 'say,' bida 'do,' and ya 'like.'

(43) Possessive Pronouns

Singular Plural
First Person -hu/'ku - ta(incl.)/- mami(txel.)
Second Person mu - miyu
Third Person na -hiha

Examples:

(44) Hu- sodda' i lapes hiha


E.ls- find the pencil- 3P1.POS
famagu'on.
the children
found the pencils of the children.'

(45) Ti ya- mu si Juan.


neg like- 2s.POS UNM John
'You don't like John.'

(46) Hafa f- in- ate en- ha?


what NOM- ask- 3s.POS
'What did she ask?'
34 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

(47) Irl fagasi i kareta-n- mami.


E.1P1- wash the car- N- 1P1.POS
'We washed our cars.'

2.2. Verb phrase morphology

In this section I will give an overview of the morphology of the verb


phrase. In particular, I will introduce to the reader the syntactic con-
structions which will be studied in more detail in the remainder of
this monograph: (a) the active transitive construction (covering both
the ergative and its irrealis counterpart), (b) the construction contain-
ing the ergative infix -um-, (c) nominalizations, (d) the -in- passive,
(e) the ma- passive, and (f) the antipassive.

2.2.1. The Chamorro basic clause. Chamorro has three different types
of agreement which occur in basic sentences.2 The choice of which
agreement type to use is dependent on two features: (a) whether the
sentence is syntactically transitive, and (b) whether the clause is
marked for irrealis or re alia. The realis is used to mark events which
occur in the present or which have occurred in the past; the irrealis
refers to future events with respect to an established time of reference
in the narrative. Thus, the irrealis can also be used to indicate an
event in the past but which is reported to have occurred later with
respect to another event mentioned in the narrative. In addition, the
irrealis is also used to mark hypothetical events. Example:

(48) Sigi di ha- gagao i mahantos na


keep E.3s-ask the Pl-saint COMP
u- ma- na't patgon- ha.
IRR.Ss- PAS- give child- Ss.POS
'She kept asking the gods that she be given
a child.' (74;7)
Morphology 35

In realis clauses, two types of agreement can be found. First of all, in


transitive clauses the verb agrees with the subject in person and
number. Secondly, in intransitive clauses the verb agrees with the
subject in number only. In irrealis clauses on the other hand, the
verb agrees with the subject in person and number regardless of the
status of the construction as being transitive or intransitive. We can
summarize the agreement system in the following scheme:

TRANSITIVE INTRANSITIVE

REALIS verb agrees with S verb agrees with S


in person and number only in number
IRREALIS verb agrees with S verb agrees with S
in person and number in person and number

Even though agreement in irrealis clauses and realis transitive clauses


is in person and number, the agreement markers in the two types of
constructions are not the same.
Before presenting the agreement paradigms in detail, a note
should be added about the classification of Chamorro as a morpholog-
ically ergative language. It is characteristic for ergative languages
that the subject of a transitive clause should be treated differently
from the subject of an intransitive which itself is marked in the same
way as the direct object of a transitive construction. This treatment
may take various forms. (See Comrie 1978 and Dixon 1979b.) In
Chamorro, it is restricted to the morphology and is marked in two
ways. First of all, as noted earlier in this section, the verb agreement
with the subject is different in realis for transitive and intransitive
subjects. In transitive realis clauses the verb agrees with the subject
in person and number whereas in intransitive realis clauses this agree-
ment is restricted to number only. Secondly, in the pronominal sys-
tem, as described previously, pronominal subjects in intransitive
clauses have the same form as pronominal direct objects in transitive
sentences in the realis mood. (See the paradigm for absolutive pro-
nouns in [36].) Pronominal subjects of transitive clauses are not indi-
cated through free pronominal forms but through verb agreement
36 3. Ch&morro morphology and syntax

markers prefixed to the verb. These agreement markers will be


presented below.
In addition, Chamorro can be described as a split ergative
language since the distinction between intransitive subjects and tran-
sitive subjects disappears in irrealis clauses, where both are indicated
through the same agreement prefixes on the verb. Chamorro is not
syntactically ergative, however, as is Dyirbal (see Dixon 1973) or
Inuktitut (an Eskimo language) (see Kalmar 1979) since there are no
syntactic rules (e.g., Equi NP-deletion, sentence coordination, relative
clause formation, etc.) which rely on the syntactic identification of
transitive direct objects with subjects of intransitives as belonging to
the same class as opposed to the subject of transitive clauses as
belonging to a different syntactic category.
Since in realis clauses verb agreement in both person and number
is only with the Agentive subject of transitive clauses, i.e., that NP
which is traditionally called the ergative in the literature on ergative
languages, this type of agreement has been called ergative agreement
(see Chung 1980) with the following paradigm:

(49) Ergative Agreement

Singular Plural
First Person hu- ta- (inel.Jtn- (excl.)
Second Person tin- en-
Third Person fi a-
m -
a-

Intransitive realis clauses exhibit number agreement only with the


subject:

(50) Number Agreement

Singular Plural
0/- um- man-

A comparison of transitive and intransitive clauses in the following


sentences will exemplify the ergative system in Chamorro:
Morphology 37

(51) HU- eakke i guihan.


E.ls- steal the fish
stole the fish.' (subject in trans, cl.)

(52) - um- anao YO'.


SING- go A.Is
went away.' (subject in intr. cl.)

(53) Ha- na'i YO' i patgon


E.3s- give A. Is the child
un lepblo.
a book
'The child gave me a book.' (d.o. in trans, cl.)

The infix -um- which is placed before the first vowel of the verb stem
has a metathesized allomorph mu- prefixed to the predicate when it
has a liquid or a nasal as initial consonant. Example:

(54) Mu- nangu yo' kadda na egga'an.


SING- swim A. Is every LINK morning
swim every morning.'

Stative predicates and a number of exceptional intransitive verbs do


not appear with the infix -um- to indicate singular agreement.
Rather, the bare stem is used:

(55) Bunita eete i palao'an.


pretty this the woman
'This woman is pretty.'

(56) Maleffa yo'.


forget A.Is
forgot.'

(Unlike its English equivalent, maleffa 'to forget' is an intransitive


verb in Chamorro.)
38 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

As a result, when the infix -urn- (or its metathesized allomorph


mu-) is nevertheless added to the stative predicate, the meaning of the
clause shifts to an active process of 'becoming.'

(57) Mu- lalalo' at tata- hu.


SING- mad UNM father- ls.POS
'My father became mad.'

The plural agreement prefix man- exhibits nasal assimilation with


initial obstruents of the stem which it precedes. The triggering voice-
less (or nasal) obstruent is deleted. (This process is the same as for
the plural nominal prefix man-.)

/man+chocho/ > mahoeho


PI +work 'they work'
/man+saga/ > mahaga
PI +stay 'they stay/live'
/man+kati/ > mangati
PI +cry 'they cry'
/man+fakpo'/ > mamakpo'
PI +finish 'they are finished'
/man+kunanaf/ > mangunanaf
PI + crawl 'they crawl'
/man+ngayu/ > mangayu
PI + collect firewood 'they collect firewood'
/man+gaige/ > manggaige
PL +be 'they are'

In the irrealis, both transitive and intransitive verbs show person


and number agreement with the subject. The same verb prefixes are
used for both. Chung (1980) proposed the term "subject agreement"
for this type as it is distinct from ergative agreement in form and in
domain of application. The prefixes indicate agreement with either
the transitive or intransitive subject. In this monograph I will refer
to this agreement type as irrealis agreement:
Morphology 39

(59) Irrealis Agreement

Singular Plural
First Person (bai)hu- (u)ta-(inc\.)/(bai)tn-(exc\.)
Second Person tm- en-
Third Person u- u-(intrans.)/uma-(trans.)

Irrealis agreement is restricted to irrealis clauses and will never


co-occur with ergative agreement. However, it will combine with the
plural number morpheme man- which has an allomorphic variant fan-
restricted to and obligatory in irrealis constructions (see [63]b). Thus,
the distinction between transitive and intransitive clauses does not
disappear altogether in the irrealis. The following examples contrast
realis with irrealis agreement:

(60) realis intransitive (singular)


H- UM- anao yo' gtya Guam.
SING- go Als LOC Guam
went to Guam.'
b. irrealis intransitive (singular)
Ha- tago' yo' et Pedro na
E.3s-order A. Is UNM Peter COMP
BAIHU- hanao.
IRR. Is- go
'Peter ordered me to go.'

(61) realis transitive (plural)


MA- na'i i famalao'an
E.3pl- give the women
t famagu'on kandi.
the children candy
'The women gave the children candy.'
b. irrealis transitive (plural)
I amerikanu para UMA- chult'
the Americans IRR IRR.3Pl-take
40 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

tatte ta'lo iya Guam.


back again UNM Guam
'The Americans were going to take Guam back again.'

(62) a. realis intransitive (plural)


MAN- hanao ham gifR
PL- go A.1PL LOC
tenda.
store
'We went to the store.'
b. Irrealis intransitive (plural)
Para (BAI)IN- fan- hanao
IRR IRR.1PL- PL- go
gi tenda.
LOC store
'We are going to the store.'

A final remark should be made concerning all types of agreement.


Third person duals, even though semantically plural referents, trigger
singular and not plural agreement on the verb.

(63) K-um- untrata t doe na


SING- agree the two COMP
u- a- aodda' taftataf gi tgga'an.
IRR. 3s- REC-find early LOC morning
'The two of them agreed that they would meet/find
each other early in the morning.' (V. 10; 18-19)

2.2.2. Verbal morphology in complex clauses. The types of agreement


described in the previous section for simple sentences often occur in
complex clauses as well. For example, irrealis agreement is found in
many complement clauses after certain verbs of manipulation and
modality in the main clause. (See Chapter 7 for a discussion):
Morphology 41

(64) Ha- angokko si Maria na


E.3s- expect UNM Mary COMP
u- sodda' i asagua- ha
IRR.3s- find the spouse- 3s.POS
gi gima'.
LOC house
'Mary expected to find her husband home.'

(65) Ha- otden et Juan et


E.3s- order UNM John UNM
Maria na u- hokka
Maria COMP IRR.3s- pick
t niyok.
the coconut
'John ordered Mary to pick the coconut.'

2.2.2.1. The ergative infix. However, a number of complex clauses are


characterized by different verb forms. One such form is infixation
with the morpheme -um- which I will briefly discuss here. This mor-
pheme is not to be confused with the homophonous singular agree-
ment marker found in intransitive realis clauses. (See also Safford
1903-1905; Topping 1975; Costenoble 1940.) Compare:

(66) a. Ha- li'e' si Juan ei


E.3s-see UNM John UNM
Maria.
Maria
'John saw Mary.'
b. Si Juan l-um- i'c'
UNM John -E.I. -see
si Maria.
UNM Maria
'It was John who saw Mary.'

(67) a. H-um- anao si Juan


SING- go UNM Juan
42 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

giya Guam.
LOC Guam
'John went to Guam.'
b. Si Juan h-um- anao
UNM John SING- go
giya Guam.
LOC Guam
'It was John who went to Guam.'

(68) a. Ma- patek t famagu 'on


E.SPL- kick the children
i ga'lagu.
the dog
'It was the children who kicked the dog.'
b. I famagu 'on p- um- atek
the children E.I. -kick
t ga'lagu.
the dog
'The children kicked the dog.'

(69) a. Man-nango famagu 'on 9*


PL- swim the children LOC
taei.
sea
'The children swam in the ocean.'
b. I famagu'on man-nango gi
the children PL- swim LOC
taei.
sea
'It was the children who swam in the ocean.'
*I famagu'on mu- nango
the children E.I. -swim
gi tasi.
LOC sea

The infix -um- which is discussed in this section replaces ergative


agreement markers only as in (66) and (68) and hence it can be called
Morphology 43

the ergative infix. It cannot appear in intransitive focus constructions


as shown clearly in example (69) c. with a plural subject. The gram-
maticality of (69) b. and the ungrammatically of (69) c. show most
convincingly that the intransitive agreement markers must be used in
those environments where the ergative infix -urn- would replace erga-
tive agreement markers. On the basis of these examples we must con-
clude then that the - um in (67) b. is not the ergative infix, but rather
the homophonous singular agreement marker one finds in intransitive
realis clauses. The ergative infix is thus restricted to realis transitive
clauses.
The ergative infix is used in certain complex clauses which have a
number of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic features in common
which will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 7. I will restrict
myself here to the illustration of those constructions in which the
ergative infix occurs:
1. Some manipulative and modality verbs require (or in some cases
allow) that the complement verb be infixed with - urn-:

(70) Ha- na'para si Juan si


E.3s-stop UNM John UNM
Maria k-um- anno' i mans ana.
Mary E.I.- eat the apple.
'John stopped Mary from eating the apple.'
(manipulative verb + complement)

(71) Ha- na'possibili i asagua-hu


E.3s- manage the spouse-Is.POS
-um- uno' i kukuracha.
E.I.- kill the cockroach
'My wife managed to kill the cockroach.'
(modality verb + complement)

2. Relative clauses in which the head of the relative clause functions


as Agentive subject:
44 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

(72) H- um- anao t patgon ni


SING- go the boy REL
um- atya yo'.
E.I.- love A.Is
'The boy who loves me went away.'

In relative clauses of this kind the ergative agreement marker is


sometimes allowed (but certainly not preferred!) by some speakers:

(73) Hu- li't' i taotao ni


E.ls- see the man REL
ha- dingu i tano'.
E.3s- leave the land
saw the man who left the country.'

Relative clauses can also precede the head provided that the link-
ing particle na be used to separate the head from its modifying
relative clause. Compare (74) with (73):

(74) H- um- anao t g-tim- atya


SING- go the E.I.- love
yo' na patgon.
A. Is LINK boy
'The boy who loves me went away.'

3. The ergative infix is also used in WH-questions in which the iden-


tity of the Agent/subject is questioned:

(75) Hayt k-um- anno' t maneanaf


who E.I.- eat the apple
'Who ate the apple?'
Morphology 45

4. In focus constructions also in which the Agent/subject is focussed,


the ergative infix -um- is used. This construction is generally
translated with a cleft in English:

(76) Si Juan l-um- i'e' i palao'an.


UNM John E.I.- see the woman
'It was John who saw the woman.'

These constructions are not to be confused with clauses exemplify-


ing the secondary word order pattern of SVO in which the subject
has been merely preposed to the verb without changing the verbal
agreement as in:

(77) Si Juan ha- li'e' i palao'an.


UNM John E.3s-see the woman
'John saw the woman.'

SVO constructions like (74) will be compared to VSO construc-


tions in narratives in chapter 8 with respect to the relative topical-
ity of the subjects in both word order types.
5. Finally, Agentive subjects in transitive constructions which are
modified by an indefinite quantifier such as meggai or to/a,
'many,' guaha, 'some,' taya', 'none,' and todu, 'all' trigger the
appearance of the ergative infix as well.

(78) Taya' t-um- ungo' hafa


none E.I.- know what
sam- papa - na.
na.
DIR- below- 3s.POS
'Noone knows what lies under there.' (1;9)

(79) Guaha um- ipe


some E.I.- RED- cut
46 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

t manha.
the coconut
'Someone was cutting the green coconuts.' (24;15)

Bula na lalahi- siha


many LINK men- PI
f-um- aisen 81 Rosa.
E.I.- ask UNM Rosa
'Many men asked Rosa out.' (30;74)

1 higante, todos hit t- um-


the giant all A.lPl E.I.-
ungo' na dankolo na taotao.
know COMP big LINK man
'The giant, we all know that it is a big man.' (58; 13)

2.2.2.2. Nominaltzcd clauses. Besides the ergative infix -um-, nomi-


nalizations may replace agreement markers found in simple sentences.
The types of complex clauses which occur preferably with nominaliza-
tions run parallel to the types of complex clauses which require the
presence of the ergative infix in realis transitive clauses. One type of
clause which allows, even prefers the use of a nominalization centers
around the semantic function of Object in transitive realis construc-
tions and includes relative clauses in which the Object has been rela-
tivized, WH-questions in which the Object's identity has been ques-
tioned, and focus constructions in which the Object is given special
prominence. The nominalization used here involves the infixation of
the nominalizing infix -in-, discussed previously. Examples:

1. Relative clauses:

(82) G-um- upu i paluma ni


SING- fly the bird REL
gu-in- aiya- ha t patgon.
NOM- love- 3s.POS the child
'The bird which the child loved flew away.'
Morphology 47

2. WH-questions:

(83) Hafa l-in- t'V- na


what NOM- see- 3s.P0S
si Maria?
UNM Mary
'What did Mary see?'

3. Focus constructions:

(84) I ga'lagu p-in- anak- ha


the dog NOM- hit- 3s.POS
t lahi.
the man
'It was the dog that the man hit.'

Even though nominalizations of the kind illustrated in (83) to (85)


are preferred, two other types of verbal forms are possible in these
contexts as well: (a) normal ergative agreement is allowed by most
speakers, and (b) passives are allowed by all speakers:

(85) relative clause (compare with [82])


a. G-um- upu i paluma
SING- fly the bird
nt ha- guaiya i patgon
REL E. 3s-love the child
'The bird which the child loved flew away.'
b. G-um- upu i paluma
SING- fly the bird
nt gu-in- aiya nt patgon
REL PAS-love OBL child
'The bird which the child loved flew away.'
48 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

(86) WH-question (compare with [83])


a. Hafa ha- li'e' et Maria f
what E.3s-see UNM Mary
'What did Mary see?'
b. Hafa I-in- i'e' as Maria
what PAS-see OBL Mary
'What did Mary see?'

(87) Focus construction (compare with [84])


I ga'lagu p-tn- anak nt lahi.
the dog PAS-hit OBL man
'It was the dog that the man hit.'

Notice that in the last example the use of ergative agreement


would result in a sentence with SOV order which would be interpreted
as meaning 'The dog hit the man.' It is possible that because of this
ambiguity, the option of using the ergative agreement marker is not
available for focus constructions in Chamorro in which the Object of
a transitive clause is given special pragmatic prominence.
In addition to relative clauses, WH-questions and focus construc-
tions, existential Objects preceded by the indefinite quantifiers guaha
'some' or taya' 'none' also require a similar construction. Example:

(88) Taya' ch-in- ilele'- ha.


none NOM- RED-take- Ss.POS
'She brought nothing with her.' (127;34)

Finally, according to Chung (1982), when an oblique object N P is


relativized, focussed upon, or questioned, a bare nominalization must
be used. Example:

(89) Hafa puno'- mu ni lala'f


what kill- 2s.POS OBL fly
'What did you kill the fly with?' (Chung 1982)
Morphology 49

(90) Na'i yo' i habon ni


give A. Is the soap REL
para fa'gaei- mmu ni kareta.
IRR wash- 2s.POS OBL car
'Give me the soap with which you are
going to wash the car' (Chung, 1982)

However, in addition to this type of construction, I have a number of


examples in my data in which native speakers used ergative agree-
ment in relative clauses and WH-questions whose heads or questioned
NP's functioned as obliques in the clause.

(91) Para u- fatto agupa' t amigu-


IRR IRR.3s-come tomorrow the friend-
hu ni hu- eangan-i hao.
Is.POS REL E.ls-tell- PRM A.2s
'My friend whom I told you about
is coming tomorrow.'

(92) Potdong t ee'ei ni ha-


fall the knife REL E.3s-
cha 'chak i taotao t pan.
cut the man the bread
'The knife with which the man
cut the bread fell.'

2.2.S. Paesives. There are two passive constructions in Chamorro.


One is marked with an infix -in- appearing before the first vowel of
the verb root (henceforth the IN-passive). The second is formed by
attaching the prefix ma- to the root (henceforth the MA-passive). As
with the infix -um-, the infix -in- has a metathesized allomorph ni-
which is used as a prefix before verbal roots with an initial liquid or
nasal.
Both passives are syntactically intransitive since they have no
direct object and hence they are coded morphologically as syntacti-
cally intransitive sentences: the verb agrees with the Object (which
50 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

functions here as syntactic subject) in number only when the clause is


re&lis and in both number and person when it is irrealis.
Both passives overlap in function in that they background the
Agent and foreground the Object in discourse. However, they are
treated as different constructions since they function in a slightly
different way pragmatically and differ also in one important semantic
respect: the IN-passive denotes that the backgrounded Agent is singu-
lar, while the MA-passive is used when the backgrounded Agent is
plural or unidentified. The pragmatic function of both passives will
be discussed in great detail in Chapter 5. Examples:

(93) Si nana- hu ch-in- atge


UNM mother- ls.POS PAS- smile
giaa tata- hu.
OBL father- ls.POS
'My mother was smiled at by my father. Or
My father smiled at my mother.' (V.6;8)

(94) To du na taotao nt mang-


all LINK people REL Pl-
gaige Guam guthi no tiempo
be Guam there LINK time
man- ma- takpangi.
Pl- PAS-baptize
'All the people who were in Guam at that time
were baptized.'

(95) Dtsde ayu ha- tutuhon nt- na'ye


from that E.3s-begin PAS- hurt
nt chetnot gi kannai- ha.
OBL disease LOC hand- 3s.POS
'From then on she started to be contaminated
on her arms/hands by a disease.' (178;91-92)

2.2.4. Antipaseivce. Chamorrolike many other ergative languages


also has an antipassive construction which mainly introduces
indefinite Objects. In fact, the majority of the antipassives in
Morphology 51

narrative texts occur without Objects at all. In certain cases, the


antipassive is used to demote or background definite Objects. The
restrictions which apply to this type of antipassive will be discussed in
Chapter 4.
Antipassives are always syntactically intransitive and the verb
form will take the plural agreement marker man- in addition to the
antipassive prefix. Both prefixes have an irrealis allomorph fan- but
when both are attached to the verb form only the agreement marker
will show the m to / alternation:

(96) Mangonne' guihan i peekadot.


A.P.-catch fish the fisherman
'The fisherman caught fish/a fish.'

(97) I ehapanes ti ha- fa 'na 'gut


the Japanese neg E.3s-teach
i taotao hafa taimanu para
the people how IRR
u/on- mang- gubetno.
IRR.3P1- A.P.- govern
'The Japanese didn't teach the people how to
govern.' (151;112-113)

As (97) shows, the nasal assimilation rule described for the plural
agreement marker also applies to the homophonous antipassive
marker.

2.2.5. The promotional suffix -i.s The suffix -t is attached to verb


roots and has the effect of according direct object status to an other-
wise oblique NP. As a result it may displace an original direct object
of a transitive verb to oblique status (e.g., in dative movement as
shown in [ 100]b.) or it can turn an intransitve verb into a transitive
one (as in |99] b. and (101]) which can then be passivized. The suffix
-i has three allomorphs which appear in predictable environments (see
Gibson 1981): -gut is used after the diphthong ao and occasionally
after back (a] and velar consonants. The diphthong ao may as a
52 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

result be reduced to [a] before -gut by some speakers. The suffix -yi is
used after vowels, and -t after other consonants. Examples:

(98) a. H-um- anao at Juan


SING- go UNM John
gi tenda.
LOC store
'John went to the store.'
b. Ha- kanafoj- gut si Juan
E.Ss-go- PRM UNM John
t tenda.
the store
'John went to the store.'

(99) a. Hu- ehule' i no- mu


E. Is-bring the food- 2s.POS
para hagu.
for EMP.2s
brought your food for you.'
b. Agupa' baihu- chult'-li- i
tomorrow IRR. Is- take-RED- PRM
hao na'- mu.
A.2s food- 2s.POS
'Tomorrow I will bring you food.'(79;80)

(100) Gi aigente mee gt finent'na


LOC next month LOC first
na ha'ani ma- miea- yi at rat.
LINK day PAS-mass- PRM UNM king
'The following month on the first day
a mass was celebrated for the king.' (70; 191)

Following the normal stress rule, suffixation with -t also causes a


rightward shift of the main stress in the predicate. This can be
observed in all the above examples: e.g., miea > mis ay t, and hnao
> hana(o)gui.
Morphology 53

2.2.6. Causativts. The causative construction has been discussed at


great length in Gibson (1981). I will restrict myself to describing its
morphology here. The Chamorro equivalent of the English causative
verbs (e.g., make / let / have (someone do...]) is a causative mor-
pheme n a - which is prefixed to the predicate. The causative con-
struction collapses two clauses into one. The subject of the embedded
complement becomes the direct object of the resulting causative con-
struction and the direct object of the complement is marked as an
oblique.

(101) a et Juan
E.3s-buy UNM John the
niyok.
coconut
'John bought the coconut, >
b. Ha- na'- fahan si Juan
E.3s-CAUS- buy UNM John
si Maria ni niyok.
UNM Mary OBL coconut
>
'John made Mary buy the coconut.

(102) a.
a H-um- anao yo' gi tenda.
SING- go A.Is LOC store
went to the store.'
b. Ha- na'- hanao yo' si
E.3s-CAUS- go A.Is UNM
nana- hu gi tenda.
mother- Is.POS LOC store
'My mother made me go/sent me to the store.'

(103) Gas gas i gima'.


clean the house
'The house is clean.'
Ayu i patgon mu-
that the child E.I.-
54 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

na- gaegas i gima'.


CAUS- clean the house
'It was the child who cleaned the house.' (192;37)

The antipassive of a verb prefixed with the causative na- does not
involve prefixation of the antipassive marker man-. Instead, the
antipassive form of a causative verb is marked by a shift forward of
the main stress onto the causative prefix, away from the verb stem.
(See Gibson 1981.)

(104) Ha- na'- tangis et Juan


E.3s-CAUS- cry UNM John
si Maria.
UNM Mary
'John made Mary cry.'
Mu- na'- tangis st Jose.
SING-CAUS- cry UNM Joe
'Joe made someone cry.' (Gibson 1981)
Man-na'- tangis i lalahi.
Pl-CAUS- cry the men
'The men made someone cry.' (Gibson 1981)

Again, the resulting form is syntactically intransitive, marked for


singular by the morpheme -um- (in this case its allomorphic variant
mu-) and for plural by the prefix man-.

2.2.7. Imptrfectivt aspect. The imperfective aspect marks events or


processes which are viewed as habitual, durative, or progressive. It
involves the reduplication of the stressed syllable of the nominal or
verb predicate. If the predicate has been suffixed by the promotional
suffix -t, or one of its allomorphs, the new stressed syllable preceding
the suffix will be the one which is reduplicated:
Morphology 55

(105) -um- ugagando i patgon.


SING- RED-play the child
'The child was playing.' (verbal stem = hugando)

(106) Hu- ga- gagao ko 'operasion- miyu.


E.ls- RED- ask cooperation- 2P1.POS
'I'm asking your cooperation.' (181;120)

I taotao natibu man- mamo-


the people native Pl-A.P.-RED-
moksai, man-mana- nanom para
raise Pl-A.P.-RED- plant for
t l-in- - hiha.
the NOM- alive- 3P1.POS
'The native people were raising animals and
planting crops for their sustenance.' (89;35)

(108) Ha- atutuk- t i che'lu- ha.


E.3s-RED- hide- PRM the sibling-
'He was hiding from his brother/sister.'

2.S. Word order

The basic, most common word order in Chamorro is VSO so that two
full definite NP's axe never misinterpreted as to their syntactic
interpretation. However, other word order patterns occur as well,
predominantly SVO. VOS is obligatorily used just in case the direct
object is pronominal and the subject is a full NP. Examples:

(109) Ha- li'e' si Maria si Juan.


E.3s-see UNM Mary UNM John
'Mary saw John.' not

(110) Ha- otden yo' si Juan no


E.3s-order A. Is UNM John COMP
56 3. Chamorro morphology and syntax

baihu- chiku i mahaina- htt.


IRR. Is- kiss the Pl-parent- ls.POS
'John ordered me to kiss my parents.'

In Chapter 8, I will take a closer look at possible pragmatic


differences between the two most common word order patterns in nar-
rative discourse, namely VSO and SVO.

Notes

1. See Gibson 1981; Chung 1978a and b, 1980, 1982; Topping 1975;
Costenoble 1940; Safford 1903-05; Home 1977; Latta 1972; New-
man 1977; among others.
2. Basic sentences are semantically and pragmatically unmarked.
They are main, affirmative clauses which are most frequently used
in narrative discourse to convey new information.
3. The term "promotional suffix" is borrowed from Relational Gram-
mar, proponents of which have spent much time discussing syntac-
tic processes such as the one described in this section. In this
view, the rule of passivization is seen as the advancement or pro-
motion of an NP out of the syntactic role of direct object into the
role of subject in the clause. This process is also called a 2 to 1
advancement where 2 stands for the role of direct object and 1 for
the role of subject. The original 1 becomes a chomeur (i.e.,
oblique NP) as a result.
Similarly, Dative Movement involves the promotion of an NP
from the 3 (i.e., indirect object) into the 2 position resulting in the
demotion of the original 2 into the position of a chomeur: (See for
example Perlmutter and Postal 1974; Johnson 1974; Keenan
1975.) In Chamorro, the promotion to direct object is not limited
to indirect objects such as Datives and Beneficiaries but includes
Locatives as well.
Chapter Four

The role of topicality in a general comparison of


the coding devices of transitive propositions

1. Preliminaries

In order to demonstrate that a particular construction codes a partic-


ular function in any given language, the construction itself needs to
be confronted with other comparable constructions in the language. In
this chapter I will compare four different syntactic constructions in
Chamorro which can code the same semantic transitive proposition in
which both an Agent and an Object are present:

1. The syntactically transitive constructions (i.e., the ergative and


the irrealis), in which an Agent and an Object are realized as the
syntactic functions of subject 1 and direct object respectively;

2. The syntactically intransitive antipassive in which the Agent still


functions as the subject but in which the Object finds itself in
Oblique position;

3. The syntactically intransitive -IN- passive; and

4. The syntactically intransitive MA- passive.

Both the MA-passive and the IN-passive code transitive propositions


in which the Object is syntactic subject and the Agent, when present,
is backgrounded into oblique position. 2
It appears that the syntactically transitive clause (i.e., ergative
and irrealis) occurs most frequently in Chamorro narrative discourse.
Of all transitive propositions the majority are coded by a syntacti-
cally transitive construction (see Table 1). On the basis of frequency,
it seems plausible to take the syntactically transitive clause pattern as
the basis with which the other three constructions can be compared.
All four constructions are similar in the sense that they code transi-
tive propositions in narrative discourse. From a functional perspec-
tive, however, one expects that different forms correspond to different
58 4. General comparison

Table 1. Distribution of syntactic coding devices


for transitive propositions

Ergative or irrealis transitive 601 72.0%


MA-passive 35 4.2%
IN-passive 134 16.1%
antipassive 64 7.7%
Total 834 100.0%

functions so that we can make a reasonable assumption that these


four construction patterns may differ on the semantic and/or prag-
matic level.
The hypothesis which I want to test in this chapter is that the
four clause patterns described above reflect the structure of the
discourse, i.e., the choice of one construction over the others is to
some extent controlled by the discourse environment in which they
occur. I will show that this is indeed the case and, more particularly,
that the four constructions can be differentiated on the basis of
differing relative degrees of topicality of the Agent and the Object in
the propositions which they encode. Using the two measurements
provided by the quantitative method, i.e., the measurement of
referential distance and topic persistence, the degree of topicality of
each Agent and Object in the four construction types will be assessed.
The individual scores for each of the two measurements will then be
added up and averaged for the Agents and Objects in each construc-
tion type separately so that we can compare the average relative topi-
cality of the arguments in the four different clause patterns. Since we
cannot measure the degree of topicality of non-existing referents,
MA-passives without Agents and antipassives without Objects are not
included in the quantitative comparison. Their existence, however, is
oxot unimportant and will be given due consideration in the course of
the discussion in this and later chapters. (See also Chapters 5 and 6.)
In section 2, the results of the quantitative analysis will be
presented in tables and graphs. In the tables, the overall measure-
ments will be given first. They provide a good overview of the overall
Preliminaries 59

average values for the measurements of referential distance and topic


persistence for both participants as a basis for comparison of the four
construction types.
However, Agents and Objects can be coded by different mor-
phosyntactic devices and since these devices themselves correlate with
varying degrees of topicality, the overall measurements need to be
refined. There are several ways in which reference can be made to
arguments in the proposition: the referent can be coded by (a) an
indefinite NP, (b) a full definite NP, (c) a pronoun, (d) verb agree-
ment, or (e) O-anaphora. These syntactic coding devices for NP's can
be hierarchized on a scale of topicality where at the top of the hierar-
chy are syntactic devices coding referents with high topicality or con-
tinuity and thus ones for which the referential identification is easiest.
Closer to the bottom of the scale are syntactic devices involving less
continuity and therefore difficulty in assigning referentiality. Sum-
marized:

(1) O-anaphora > verb agreement > pronoun >


definite NP > modified definite NP > indefinite NP

The hierarchy in (l) 4 only partially reflects a more detailed hierarchy


proposed by Givon (1981 and 1982) and was attested by my own
Chamorro data (see Cooreman 1983) and by data from a variety of
other languages reported on in Givon (Ed.) (1983c). 5 The measures
for distance and persistence are on the whole lower and higher respec-
tively for the devices at the top of the scale compared to those at the
bottom. For this reason, 1 have computed the average values for
Agents and Objects in the four clause types according to the syntactic
device used to code their referents. Since O-anaphora codes the
highest topical Objects and verb agreement the highest topical
Agents, I have conflated the two devices into one category in order to
be able to compare the most topical Objects with the most topical
Agents. Since a number of the coding devices mentioned in hierarchy
(1) were too scarcely represented in some of the clause types (i.e.,
exemplified by only 1 to 3 instances), no separate measures are given
for them since a very small number of instances cannot be expected to
60 4. General comparison

yield an average which is reliably representative of the category to


warrant adequate comparison. As a resultwithout avoiding the
problem altogetherseparate counts will be given only for definite full
NP's and for those Agents and Objects coded by the category 0-
anaphora/verb agreement. In the tables, the overall measurements
will be given first. They include Agents and Objects coded by all
types of devices and provide a good overview of the overall average
values for the measurements of referential distance and persistence of
both participants in the four major constructions.
Even though the overall average values are obviously skewed in
favor of the most common syntactic coding device used for the argu-
ments in the propositions, they still provide a valid and important
distributional schema for the syntactic constructions in terms of aver-
age degree of topicality of Agent and Object. (See Graphs 1 and 2.)
In addition, the overall schema is to a large extent matched by the
separate schemas obtained for the measurements for Agents and
Objects coded by 0-anaphora/verb agreement and definite NP's. (See
Graphs 3, 4, 5, and 6.)

2. Quantitative results and graphs

The results of the application of the two quantitative measures on the


Chamorro narratives are presented below in Tables 2 through 5. The
number between parentheses in the tables denotes the number of
instances (=n) found in the data. The average values for distance
and persistence were obtained by adding the score given to each indi-
vidual Agent or Object for each of the measurements and dividing the
result by the total number of instances (=n) belonging to the
category.
In Table 2, no values are given for Objects in the antipassive
coded by 0-anaphora/verb agreement as no instances were found. As
I shall show in more detail in Chapter 6, it follows from the function
of the antipassive, which is to background Objects (see Footnote 2 in
Chapter 1), that highly topical Object NP's are impossible and thus it
should be no surprise that no instances of such Objects can be found
Quantitative results and graphs 61

in the data. Since the values for passives and antipassives cover both
realis and irrealis forms of these clause patterns, I conflated the two
syntactically transitive constructions into one category as well.
Separate measurements for ergative and irrealis transitive clauses
revealed no significant difference between the two with respect to the
relative topicality of the major participants in the propositions they
encode so that the conflation of both constructions is justified for the
present purposes.

Table 2. Average referential distance and topic


persistence for Agents and Objects
in antipassive constructions

Overall Results Verb agr./O-an. Definite NP


Agent Object Agent Object Agent Object

referential (64) (64) (46) (0) (5) (3)


distance 3.3 19.5 1.6 13.0 20.0

topic
persistence 2.0 0.2 2.4 --- 0.8 0.3

Table 3. Average referential distance and topic persistence


for Agents and Objects in syntactically transitive
constructions (ergative and irrealis)

Overall Results Verb agr./0-an. Definite NP


Agent Object Agent Object Agent Object

referential (601) (601) (482) (141) (74) (293)


distance 1.8 9.8 1.1 1.4 5.3 10.2

topic
persistence 2.1 0.7 2.1 0.9 1.4 0.8
62 4. General comparison

Table 4. Average referential distance and topic


persistence for agents and objects
in IN-passive constructions

Overall Results Verb agr./O-an. Definite NP


Agent Object Agent Object Agent Object

referential (134) (134) (37) (83) (63) (2)


distance 7.3 3.5 1.4 1.1 9.9 10.7

topic
persistence 0.8 1.3 0.7 1.2 0.8 1.5

Table 5. Average referential distance and topic


persistence for Agents and Objects
in MA-passive Constructions

Overall Results Verb agr./0-an. Definite NP


Agent Object Agent Object Agent Object

referential (35) (35) (9) (21) (21) 4)


distance 10.9 3.3 1.4 1.1 9.0 1.7

topic
persistence 0.6 1.8 0.4 1.9 0.7 1.5

3. Discussion

As graphs 1-6 show, there is a correlation between the values for


referential distance and topic persistence of both Agent and Object
and the syntactic construction chosen by the Chamorro speaker. In all
the graphs which present the curves for the measure of referential dis-
tance we get a consistently rising cline for the Object from the MA-
passive to the antipassive. The curves for the measure of topic
Discussion 63

I I I I
MA IN TRANS A.P.

Graph 1. Referential distance for Agent and Object:


Overall Results

MA IN TRANS A.P.

Graph 2. Topic persistence for Agent and Object:


Overall Results
4. General comparison

20 ,

15 -

10-

5 -

Object Agent

0
~ 1 I
IN TRANS A.P.

Graph 3. Referential distance for Agent and Object:


Verb agreement and 0-anaphora

3-1

Agent

2 -

1 - '.. Object

T ~ 1
MA IN TRANS A.P.

Graph 4. Topic persistence for Agent and Object:


Verb agreement and 0-anaphora
Discussion 65

Object
20-,

15 -
Agent

10-

5 -

0
I I
MA IN TRANS A.P.

Graph 5. Referential distance for Agent and Object:


Definite NP's

3-1

2 -

1 -
ent

Object

" 1
MA IN TRANS A.P.

Graph 6. Topic persistence for Agent and Object:


Definite NP's
66 4. General comparison

persistence show the inverse relation in which all the Object NP's
have a high value for persistence in both passive constructions and
move to almost no persistence in the antipassive. The curves for the
Agent NP show that the average referential distance is lowest in tran-
sitive constructions and highest in passive clauses and the reverse
obtains for the values of persistence, i.e., the Agent of the syntacti-
cally transitive clause has a higher value for persistence than the
Agent in a passive construction. The Agent in the antipassive has a
fairly low value for referential distance and a fairly high one for per-
sistence; however, neither values are as low or as high the ones for
the Agent in the transitive construction. I will come back to this
observation below.
Since low values for referential distance and relatively high ones
for topical persistence characterize highly topical or highly continuous
elements in the discourse, and the inverse correlation characterizes
less topical referents, these results show that Object NP's are highly
continuous in passive constructions and become less continuous (i.e.,
less topical) as one approaches the antipassive on the scale where one
finds a majority of indefinite, non-referential Objects. In the two
active constructions, i.e., the transitive and the antipassive, it is the
Agent which has by far the highest degree of topicality.
These quantitative results are very significant and suggest strongly
that the choice of one construction over the others to code a similar
semantic proposition is to a large extent pragmatically controlled by
the discourse structure as it is reflected in the relative degree of topi-
cality of the arguments in the proposition, notably the Agent and the
Object.
As is the case in other languages (see Givon 1979c, (Ed.) (1983c),
among others), we may observe that in Chamorro the most
continuous/most topical referent in the sentence will tend to be
selected as the grammatical subject, i.e., that NP with which the verb
shows morphological agreement. In the syntactically transitive con-
structions (i.e., ergative and its irrealis counterpart) and the antipas-
sive clauses it is the Agent which performs the function of the syntac-
tic subject, while in the passive constructions it is the Object which is
highest in topicality and is coded as the syntactic subject.
Discussion 67

S.l. The transitive construction

As indicated above (see Table 1), the syntactically transitive con-


struction is the most frequent in Chamorro narrative discourse. Since
the subject in general codes the highest topical referent in the proposi-
tion, and since it is the Agent which occupies the subject slot in
active, transitive clauses, it appears that the Chamorro speaker most
frequently presents the Agent as that referent with the highest degree
of topicality in the clause. Comparing all Agents with all Objects in
all four clause patterns, the averages of the counts for both parame-
ters establish that on the whole Agents are more topical than Objects:
the average referential distance is lower for Agents than for Objects,
and the average persistence is higher (see Table 6).

Table 6. Average values for referential distance and


topic persistence for Agents and Objects
in transitive propositions

Agents (834) Objects (834)


referential distance 3.2 9.2
topic persistence 1.8 0.8

From a universal point of view it should not be surprising that the


construction which assigns highest topicality to the Agent is the most
frequent in narrative discourse in a particular language, if there is
indeed truth to the claim that such discourse on the whole is Agent
oriented in mostif not alllanguages. (See also Chapter 5.)
We can make the additional observation that the highest topical
element in the ergative construction (and the irrealis transitive), e.g.,
the Agent, tends to be coded syntactically by verb agreement alone,
i.e., in 80.2% of the instances. (See Table 2.) Subjects in all other
constructions are also higher in topicality than any other argument in
the clause. Thus we find a more topical Agent in the antipassive
whereas the Object is more topical in both passives. Frequency
counts of the distribution between subjects and the syntactic devices
68 4. General comparison

by which they are coded in the sentence reveal the results shown in
Table 7 (see also Tables 2-5). 6

Table 7. Distribution of syntactic coding


devices over subjects

subject/verb agreement 632 75.8%


subject/def.full NP 107 12.8%
subject/other devices 95 11.4%
Total 834 100.0%

A similar frequency count for direct objects in transitive clauses in


the Chamorro narratives leads to the percentages shown in Table 8.
The direct objects are usually the least topical referents in a syntacti-
cally transitive clause. The class of names shows roughly the same
values for both referential distance and topic persistence as do definite
full NP's. They are also used most frequently when a large gap
occurs between the new reference and the previous mention of the
same element in the discourse, or when ambiguity may arise. (See
Cooreman, 1983.) They can thus be grouped together with the
definite full NP's. Both categories combined provide 52.9% of all
direct object coding devices used in Chamorro transitive clauses, i.e.
the single largest category. Both Tables 7 and 8 corroborate in part
the hierarchy given in (l). The subjects, which tend to be highest in
referential continuity or topicality, are also more likely to be coded by
devices which correspond to high topicality, i.e., verb agreement
(75.8% of all subjects); direct objects in syntactically transitive
clauses are less topical and are most likely coded as definite full NP's
or by a similar coding device (52.9%).
Discussion 69

Table 8. Distribution of syntactic coding


devices over direct objects

direct object/0-anaphora 141 23.5%


direct object/pronoun 20 3.3%
direct object/def.NP 293 48.7%
direct object/name 25 4.2%
direct object/clause 101 16.8%
direct object/indef.NP 21 3.5%

Total 601 100.0%

S.S. The antipaesive construction

As one can read off from Table 2, the Object of an antipassive, when
present, is always very low in topicality. What Table 2 does not
reveal is t h a t the majority of antipassives in Chamorro narratives
occur with indefinite Objects, which by definition automatically
receive the value 20 for referential distance. Of all the overt Objects
found in the d a t a base in an antipassive construction, only 4 (i.e.,
6.3%) were not indefinite. The majority of antipassives (i.e., 93.7%)
were accompanied by indefinite Objects. In general then, Objects of
antipassives are new in the discourse and the fact that the value for
topic persistence is close to zero shows that on the whole these
Objects also tend to be non-referential, non-specific. I found only one
instance in the d a t a in which the indefinite Object of an antipassive
showed any persistence at all:

(2) Guaha nai mang-guaddok hao h o y u ya


sometimes A.P.-dig A.2s hole and
tin- yute' t basula- mu halom (0).
E.2s-throw the garbage- 2s.POS inside
'Sometimes you dig a h o l e and throw your garbage
inside i t . ' (10;144)
70 4. General comparison

Occasionally, instances are found where the same indefinite N P is


repeated in contiguous clauses without making the second mention
referentially identical to the first. The indefinite N P refers to any
member of the class of referents named by the noun and is not
intended to refer to a unique single entity representing the class.
Thus, the second occurrence of the same indefinite N P also denotes
abstract class membership and the reference may be considered new
and maximally distant in the discourse as well. Example:

Puts i ma'eetro-n aliman


then the teacher- German
ha- tago' t famagu'on kada
E.3s-tell the children each
tmu u- fangonne' amigu-
one IRR.3P1- Pl-take friend-
ha ya yanggen mangonne'
3s.POS and if A.P.-take
amigu- ha u- knne'
friend- 3s.POS IRR.3s take
ha' lokkut' t familia-n-
INT also the family- N-
hiha.
3P1.POS
'Then the German teacher told the children that each
one should take a f r i e n d , and when they had taken
a f r i e n d , they should also take their families.' (148;71-74)

Antipassives which introduce new, indefinite Objects I have called


Indefinite Antipassives. The 4 instances in the data which did not
include an indefinite Object, but 3 definite oblique Objects and 1 pro-
nominal one, belong to another type of antipassives which I have
called the Demoting Antipassive. The distinction between them will
be discussed in detail in Chapter 5.
It is safe to claim that the majority of Objects in Chamorro
antipassives (93.8%) have the lowest possible degree of topicality.
Objects in the Indefinite Antipassive always have the maximum value
Discussion 71

20 for referential distance and almost always the minimum value 0 for
persistence. One would thus expect the informational value coded in
these propositions with regard to the rest of the discourse to be fairly
low. W i t h informational value I mean the degree to which the infor-
mation presented in the proposition is necessary for the development
of the narrative. Some propositions such as descriptions and digres-
sions are not necessarily immediately relevant to the narrative as a
whole and thus their informational value is considered low.
This expectation is borne out by the fact t h a t antipassives have a
strong tendency to occur in backgrounded clauses, i.e., in general they
are not involved in the thematic development of the story. T o decide
whether a clause is foregrounded or backgrounded I relied on two
basic principles outlined and exemplified in Hopper and Thompson
(1980):

1. T h e clause has to give information about main events in the nar-


rative, thus contributing to the backbone or skeleton of the text.
2. T h e informational content of the clause has to be presented in
sequential order.
It has been established that backgrounded clauses are not ordered
with respect to one another and may be moved relative to the fore-
grounded clauses in the narrative text. 7 (See Hopper, 1979; Hopper
and Thompson, 1980.)

Table 9. Distribution of antipassives and transitive


constructions in foregrounded and
backgrounded clauses

Transitives Antipassives
foregrounded clauses 46 46.0% 17 26.6%
backgrounded clauses 54 54.0% 47 73.4%
Total 100 100.0% 64 100.0%

As Table 9 shows, the application of this fairly simple method to


compare the distribution of foregrounded and backgrounded clauses
coded as antipassives and syntactically transitive constructions is
72 4. General comparison

illustrative. I have applied the two principles proposed by Hopper


(1979) to all the antipassives in the data and to the first 100 syntacti-
cally transitive clauses which are representative of the whole corpus of
601 instances.
The pragmatic function of the Indefinite Antipassive in Chamorro
is to code those Objects in the narrative which are non-referential,
and have the lowest degree of topicality. This function of antipas-
sives with overt Objects is in fact compatible with the pragmatic
function of antipassives without Objects. The Object-less antipassive
provides the extreme case of not introducing topical elements. At the
same time it also accounts for the majority of antipassives in the data
(see Table 10):

Table 10. Distribution of antipassives with


and without Objects

Object-less antipassives 102 61.4%


antipassives with Objects 64 38.6%
Total 168 100.0%

As we shall see below, there is a converse situation with the MA-


passive at the other end of the scale of syntactic constructions, where
the prototypical, most frequent MA-passive is Agentless.

S.S. The passive construction

Since the distinction between the IN-passive and the MA-passive will
be discussed in more detail in the next chapter, this section will
remain short and cover only the more general characteristics. As
Tables 3 and 4 and figures 1-6 show, both passive constructions code
propositions in which the Object is more topical than the Agent.
Both constructions occur with equal frequency in foregrounded and
backgrounded clauses so that on the thematic level of the narrative
there seems to be no marked difference between the two (see Table
Discussion 73

11). As with the transitive clauses, only the first one hundred cases of
IN-passives were considered for comparison.

Table 11. Distribution of MA-passives and -IN-passives


in foregrounded and backgrounded clauses

MA-passives IN-passives
foregrounded clauses 16 45.2% 45 45%
backgrounded clauses 19 54.8% 55 55%
Total 35 100.0% 100 100%

The limited number of instances of MA-passives in which the Object,


functioning as syntactic subject, is coded by definite full NP's, i.e.,
only 4 cases, is probably responsible for the unexpected low value for
referential distance of those referents coded by such a low topic coding
device as definite full NP's.
There are two major distinctions which can be made between the
IN-passive and the MA-passive. First of all, as Table 12 shows, the
IN-passive generally occurs with the oblique Agent present in the
clause, whereas the MA-passive typically occurs without. Secondly,
the Agent referents in the IN-passive are mostly singular, previously
identified Agents. The Agents of the MA-passive are all plural
referents. To my knowledge, it is impossible to get a MA-passive in
which an Agent which is not identified in the clause is contextually
understood as being singular, as in a concatenation of sentences in
English like:

(4) I cleaned the house, I washed the dishes, I ironed


the clothes; the windows were washed as well.

where the unidentified Agent of the last clause is understood to be the


speaker, i.e., the 7 referent, as well. 8 MA -passives are easily confused
with ergative constructions in which the subject is indicated by the
third person plural agreement marker which is homophonous with the
mo- prefix of the passive. It is often not clear how the ma- prefixed
74 4. General comparison

Table 12. Distribution of passives with and


without an Overt Agent

with Agent without Agent


IN-passive 134 96.4% 5 3.6%
MA-passive 35 9.5% 332 90.5%

verb form should be analyzed morphologically. 9 In many of these


cases, the construction is considered impersonal in the narrative con-
text, which should not be surprising, since it is a well known fact that
both plural pronominal active constructions without an identifiable
Agent and Agentless passives give rise to impersonal constructions in
other languages as well. (E.g., English, Dutch,....) Plural referents
are often interpreted as being indefinite. (E.g., English: They say
that... and It is said that... have virtually the same interpretation.)
The fact that MA-passives code transitive propositions in which
the Agent is always plural may account for the difference in the
results obtained for Agents of MA-passives as compared to Agents in
IN-passives. The overall average for referential distance is lower for
the Agents of IN-passives and the average value for persistence is
slightly higher. This suggests that Agents of IN-passives are more
topical than Agents of MA-passives. I believe that these results
reflect the fact that singular referents are more topical than plural
ones which are, in addition, often impersonal as well. (See Givon,
1976.) (Evidence for this claim, based on the Chamorro data, will be
given in Chapter 5.)

4. Preliminary conclusions

The four syntactic coding patterns for Chamorro transitive proposi-


tions compared in this chapter code different points along a contin-
uum which marks the functional domain of relative topicality of both
Agent and Object in clauses. The measure for referential distance in
graphs 1, 3, and 5 suggests almost a complete reverse relationship
Preliminary conclusions 75

between the topicality of the Agent in relation to the Object as one


moves from the antipassive to the MA-passive. The term antipassive
seems most appropriate in this context as its function is exactly the
opposite of the function of the prototypical passive, i.e., the MA-
construction: The antipassive suppresses the Object referent which is
non-referential or not mentioned at all, while the MA-passive
suppresses the Agent, which is less topical than in the IN-passive or,
in most instances, is not mentioned at all. The antipassive and both
passives are in addition syntactically marked as intransitive construc-
tions.
Thus, there is evidence for a correlation between syntactic transi-
tivity and the relative topicality of the major participants in the pro-
positions, dependent on the pragmatic context of the narrative. Syn-
tactic transitivity in Chamorro involves a scale with two possible
extremes, the antipassive on one end and the MA-passive on the
other. There are two separable semantic characteristics involved in
syntactic transitivity in Chamorro:
1. The obligatory presence of an identifiable Agent who initiates the
event.
2. The presence of an identifiable Object that undergoes directly the
effect of the activity.
There seems to be an additional pragmatic condition for syntactically
transitive sentences:
3. The Agent NP must be more referentially continuous or more top-
ical than the Object NP in the clause.
For the syntactically transitive construction (i.e., ergative and
irrealis) all the characteristics apply. The antipassive is a very active
construction but involves a non-referential Object, which is hence
non-identifiable, or no Object at all. (For the Demoting Antipassive,
one of the semantic conditions is violated as I shall discuss in Chapter
6)
The IN-passive involves both an Agent and an Object but the
latter surpasses the former in degree of topicality. Both passives fore-
ground an Object referent over the Agent, thus concentrating more on
the resulting state than on the action itself.
76 4. General comparison

According to Hopper and Thompson (1980), stative propositions


are less transitive than states-of-affairs that describe actions so that it
is no surprise that the passive constructions in Chamorro should be
syntactically intransitive. T h e MA-passive makes reference only to an
Object referent and is thus the more stative of the two. None of the
three constructionsthe antipassive and both passivesabide by the
three conditions proposed above and they are all, as a result, marked
as being syntactically intransitive.
Even though one can observe some overlap in the function of these
four different constructionsespecially in individual instancesthe
tendencies unearthed in this chapter through the quantitative analysis
are important and may be schematically presented as follows:

(5) CONSTRUCTION T Y P E DEGREE OF TOPICALITY

antipassive Agent >> Object


(where the Object is
prototypically suppressed)
transitive Agent > Object
IN-passive Agent < Object
MA-passive Agent < < Object
(where the Agent is
prototypically suppressed)

Notes

1. Even though Chamorro is an ergative language the term subject


remains valid here since its ergative characteristics are restricted
to the morphology and do not pertain to any syntactic processes
which would hinge on the identification of the absolutive case, i.e.,
the Agent in an intransitive clause and the Object in a transitive
construction, thus making the notions subject and direct object
useless for descriptive purposes.
Notes 77

The two other syntactic patterns which will be discussed in this


dissertation, i.e., the construction with the ergative infix and the
nominalizations (see Chapter 7), are not included in the present
comparison since apart from pragmatic differences, they code
different semantic functions as well.
There are, of course, other possible coding devices such as left
dislocated NP's, etc. However, I have restricted myself to the
most common types which are readily attested in my corpus of
data.
Since indefinite NP's often introduce new topics at the beginning
of stories or paragraphs which may become highly topical in the
remainder of the narrative, their ranking at the bottom of this
hierarchy refers only to the extent that they are minimally con-
tinuous anaphorically.
The psycholinguistic validity of the topicality hierarchy given in
(l) has been supported by experiments in speech production and
interpretation. (See Fletcher, 1984.)
The category of other devices includes: pronouns, names and nom-
inal clauses. In the data I did not find any indefinite NP's as sub-
ject of constructions coding transitive propositions. Indefinite
NP's are most commonly introduced into the narrative by means
of an existential clause. Example:

Un dia guaha un peskadot ni...


one day be a fisherman REL
'One day there was a fisherman who...'

In an attempt to identify foreground and background information


independent of syntactic clues, based on on-line oral descriptive
data, correlating foregroundedness to event-significance, Tomlin
(1985) points out that the methodology used by Hopper (1979)
and others based on rationalistic, introspective grounds rather
than empirical grounds so that it might permit different analyses
by different people of the foreground - background structure of the
narrative. However, Tomlin also adds that Hopper's method
78 4. General comparison

compared favorably with his own syntax-independent and opera-


tionally explicit methodology.
Since the foreground - background distinction is not a real dicho-
tomy but rather to be interpreted as a continuum, it is conceivable
that the results of Hopper's implicit methodology may vary
slightly from person to person. Some people may assign the status
of foreground information to more clauses than others. However,
since the methodology was used in this dissertation to look at the
relative distribution of sentence patterns in foregrounded or back-
grounded clauses only, the subjective variability in absolute fre-
quencies will not result in variability in relative frequencies so that
Hopper's methodology is justifiable for the present purpose.

8. There is only one case in which most speakers judge that the MA-
passive must be used in which the overt oblique Agent is singular.
These cases involve an embedded complement clause which is pas-
sivized so as to keep the subject of the embedded clause identical
to the subject of the main clause. For example:

a. Man- ma'aHiao ham man-ma- faieen


PI- afraid A.lPl PI- PAS- ask
kuestion as Antonio.
question OBL Anthony
'We axe afraid to be asked a question by Anthony.'

b. * I V.Man- ma'ahao ham man-in- faieen


PI- afraid A.lPl PI- PAS- ask
kuestion as Antonio.
question OBL Anthony

There seems to be no obvious explanation for the restriction to a


MA-passive here even though the oblique Agent referent is obvi-
ously singular and we would expect an IN-passive to occur. (I am
grateful to Sandy Chung for this observation.)
Notes 79

9. Verbal predicates with a ma- prefix were analyzed as ergative just


in case the immediate discourse context contained a plural referent
which could plausibly be interpreted as the intended Agent-subject
of the sentence. All other occurrences were analyzed as agentless
MA-passives.
Chapter Five

Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

1. Counterexamples t o the general funcion of the Chamorro


passive

In the previous chapter I have shown that the passive in Chamorro is


used when the Object is higher in topicality than the Agent. (See
Tables 3-5 in Chapter 4.) Through passivization, these Objects func-
tion as syntactic subjects, the typical coding for the highest topical
element in the Chamorro proposition. In the instance of the passives
the value for referential distance is higher for the Agent than for the
Object, the value for persistence lower. There are very few counterex-
amples to this generalization. In the syntactically transitive construc-
tions (i.e., the ergative and its irrealis counterpart), the Object was
higher in topicality than the Agent only 5.7% of the time (see Table
13). Of these 34 clauses, 21 had inanimate Objects which are only
rarely coded syntactically as the highest topical NP in the clause (see
section 3.2. below). Some other exceptions will be explained below.
(See Chapter 8.)

Table 13. Topicality distribution of semantic roles in


ergative and transitive irrealis clauses

Agent > Object 567 94.3%

Object > Agent 34 5.7%


Total 601 100.0%

There are, in addition, instances in which the topicality of the


Agent is the same as that of the Object in the immediate discourse
MA-passives as distinct from -IN-passives 81

environment. These cases and the factors involved in the decision to


use an active or a passive construction will be discussed later.

2. MA-passives as distinct from IN-passives

In the comparison in Chapter 4, I only looked at constructions in


which both Agent and Object were included in the proposition. It is
an established fact, however, that in many languages (English is no
exception) the prototypical passive occurs in texts without an
identified Agent in the clause. (See Givon, 1979c.) In Chamorro the
presence or absence respectively of the Agent is an important distinc-
tion which differentiates the MA-passive from the IN-passive. The
former most often occurs without an oblique Agent, the latter almost
always is accompanied by one. (See Table 11 in Chapter 4.) In addi-
tion, as I already pointed out in the previous chapter, the MA-passive
is used when the Agent is plural, the IN-passive is used exclusively
and obligatorily when the Agent is singular. (But see also footnote 8
to Chapter 4.)
Givon (1981) identified three universal features of passives:

1. A non-agent argument assumes clausal topic function instead of


the subject/Agent.

2. The identity of the Agent is suppressed, creating an agentless


(often impersonal) construction.

3. The clause is detransitivized, becomes stative, less transitive.

The IN and MA-passives share the first and in part the third charac-
teristic. They both take the plural agreement prefix m a n - / f a n - with
plural subjects, which identifies them as syntactically intransitive sen-
tences. In addition, the MA-passive codes function 2 as well, so that
presumably it is the more prototypical passive of the two. The fact
that it is the MA-passive which is used as an agentless passive should
not be surprising given the fact that plural referents are not always
uniquely identifiable and not as topical as singular referents. They
are also typically non-referential. In English, active clauses with
third person plural subjects often serve the function of impersonal
82 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

constructions as well in which the subject referent is not really


referential (e.g., 'they say that...').
Both morphemes IN and MA occur in other Austronesian
languages. Pawley and Reid (1980) identify *MA as a prefix which
occurs in Philippine-type languages indicating a stative clause. Foley
(1976) identifies the same morpheme as a prefix indicating stativity in
Eastern Oceanic languages (ibid., p. 150) and in present-day Tagalog
(ibid., p. 104), where it is accompanied by an Object only.
The IN- infix is still used in most Philippine languages (e.g.,
Tagalog) in transitive constructions in which the Object is obliga-
torily definite, presumably identifiable from the preceding context.
(See Foley 1976, Naylor 1973.) In Chamorro the Object, being the
most topical referent in the IN-passive, is necessarily definite also.
However, not all definite Objects necessarily become subjects of a pas-
sive construction. It is more than likely that the Chamorro IN-
passive is historically related to the transitive IN-construction of the
Philippine languages with the additional synchronic restriction that
the Object in Chamorro not only be definite, but also more topical
than the Agent in the proposition. It remains similar to the Philip-
pine construction in that it tends to preserve the identity of the
Agent. Hence, the IN-passive construction is less stative than the
MA-passive.

3. Topicality and obligatory passives

As Chung (1980) previously observed, certain configurations of Agent


and Object are not allowed in Chamorro in the form of syntactically
transitive constructions. Instead of ergative clauses or transitive
irrealis constructions, passives must be used. The following combina-
tions in transitive clauses a) are ungrammatical. The b) sentences
give grammatical alternatives:
Topicality and obligatory passives 83

1. Clauses in which the subject is third person plural: 1

(1) a. *Ma- li'e' i famagu'on


E.3P1- see the children
t mahaina-n- hiha.
the PI- parent-N- 3P1.POS
'The children saw their parents.'
b. Man-ma- li'e' i mahaina- n-
Pl- PAS- see the Pl-parent-N-
hiha ni famagu'on.
3P1.P0S OBL children
'The children saw their parents/The parents were
seen by the children.'

(2) a. *Para uma- na't t


IRR IRR.3P1- give the
ma'eetro- siha i famagu'on
teacher- PI the children
nt kandt.
OBL candy
'The teachers will give the children candy.'
b. Para u/on- ma- na't
IRR IRR.3P1- PAS- give
t famagu'on ni kandt
children OBL candy
nt ma'eetro- eiha.
OBL teacher-Pi
'The teachers will give the children candy./
The children will be given candy by the teachers.'

2. Clauses in which the subject is inanimate and the direct object


animate:

(3) a. */ cha'guan ha- raspa


the swordgrass E. 3s-brush against
84 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

si Juan.
UNM John
'The swordgrass brushed against John.'
b. R-in- aspa et Juan
PAS- brush against UNM John
nt cha'guan.
OBL swordgrass
'The swordgrass brushed against John./John was
brushed against by the swordgrass.'

(4) a. *Ha- na'- homlo' i


E.3s- CAUS- cure the
amot si Maria.
medicine UNM Mary
'The medicine cured Mary.'
b. Ni- na'- homlo' si Maria
PAS- CAUS- cure UNM Maria
nt amot.
OBL medicine
'The medicine cured Mary./
Mary was cured by the medicine.'

3. Clauses in which the subject is non-pronominal but the direct


object referent is coded by a pronoun:

(5) a. *Para u- agang siha


IRR IRR.3s- call A.3P1
t patgon.
the child
'The child will call them.'
b. Para ufan- in- agang siha
IRR IRR. 3 PI- PAS- call A.3P1
ni patgon.
OBL child
'The child will call them./They will be called
by the child.'
Topicality and obligatory passives 85


(6) a. *Ha- galuti gue' i taotao.
E.3s- hit A.3s the man
'The man hit him.'
b. G-- aluti gue' nu
PAS- hit A.3s OBL
taotao.
the man
'The man hit him./He was hit by the man.'

Chung calls on two constraints to explain her observations:

(7) No transitive clause can have a subject that is third


person plural.
(8) No transitive clause can have a direct object that
outranks the subject on the hierarchy
pronoun > animate > inanimate.

Both constraints are motivated by a higher principle formulated in


(9):

(9) No transitive clause in Chamorro can have a direct


object that is more highly individuated than the
subject.

The term individuation is adopted from Timberlake (1975) who sug-


gested a number of universal individuation hierarchies:

(10) proper > common


animate > inanimate
singular > plural
topicalized > neutral

The entities on the left of the hierarchies tend to be viewed more as


individuals or refer to uniquely identified participants. (The vertical
ordering of the hierarchies in [10] is arbitrary.) Pronouns are also
more individuated than non-pronominal elements since their referents
86 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

have already been established in the discourse as uniquely identifiable


individuals.
Even though Chung's constraint makes the correct prediction for
the first two observations, it is inadequate with respect to the issue of
pronominal Objects as I will show in more detail below. In reply to
Chung, I suggest that the obligatory passives exemplified in (1)
through (6), can be explained more adequately in terms of the prag-
matic notion of topicality. The obligatory passives then are the result
of a process of grammaticalization of a more general observation in
narrative discourse that the referent with the highest degree of topi-
cality in the proposition must be coded as the syntactic subject of the
clause.
In the following subsections I will show that the application of the
quantitative method to the Chamorro narratives establishes a direct
correlation between the constraints restricting the grammatically pos-
sible structures and an observable, general pragmatic principle, i.e.,
that the highest topical referent will Be selected as the subject of the
clause in Chamorro. The elements which are obligatorily selected as
subjects in the configurations of Agent and Object identified by
Chung as not allowable in transitive constructions turn out to be the
more topical referents in natural discourse. This particular correla-
tion is empirically observable in the quantitative analysis of the
Chamorro narratives, which yields similar hierarchies to those
presented in (10).

S.l. Number

Corresponding to constraint (7) is the observation that plural


referents are less topical than singular ones in Chamorro narratives.
Tables 14, 15, 16, and 17 show distance and persistence measures for
plural and singular subjects in transitive propositions. Tables 14, 15,
and 16 clearly indicate that plural subjects tend to be less topical
than singular ones. The average values for referential distance are
higher and for persistence lower for plural than for singular subjects.
Topicality and obligatory passives 87

Table 14. Referential distance and topic persistence


of plural and singular third person
Agent/subjects in the antipassive

Plural subjects Singular subjects

referential (34) (124)


distance 7.1 1.4

topic
persistence 0.8 1.7

Table 15. Referential distance and topic persistence


of plural and singular third person
Object/subjects in MA-passives

Plural subjects Singular subjects

referential (105) (249)


distance 12.5 7.9

topic
persistence 0.8 1.4

In connection with Table 17 one important remark needs to be


made. Even though constraint (7) does not allow for third person
plural subjects in transitive constructions, those which are coded
through verb agreement alone are acceptable. (See also Footnote 1.)
As a result, it should be obvious that the counts for plural subjects
given in Table 17 are biased since verb agreement marks highly topi-
cal referents. The value for referential distance coded through verb
agreement alone is very low and the value for persistence is on the
average higher than for other NP coding devices. (See Chapter 4 and
Cooreman, 1983.) Since Tables 14, 15, and 16 present the average
values for subjects coded by devices for referents which are less topical
88 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

Table 16. Referential distance and topic persistence


of plural and singular third person
Object/subjects in IN-passives

Plural subjects Singular subjects

referential (22) (107)


distance 6.3 3.6

topic
persistence 1.7 1.4

Table 17. Referential distance and topic persistence of


plural and singular third person Agent/subjects
in syntactically transitive clauses
(i.e. ergative and irrealis)

Plural subjects Singular subjects

referential (82) (519)


distance 2.2 1.7

topic
persistence 1.6 2.1

as well (e.g., definite NP's), the results in Table 17 do not provide an


adequate basis for comparison.
In addition, singular subjects in clauses coding transitive proposi-
tions exceed by far the number of plural subjects (see Table 18): The
results in Table 18 do reflect the relative distribution of singular and
plural referents in both subject and object position in transitive pro-
positions in the narratives. A random sample of 294 clauses yielded
an average of 74% singular referents vs. 26% plural ones. These
results suggest that plural referents are less topic-worthy than singu-
lar ones.
Topicality and obligatory passives 89

Table 18. Distribution of plural and singular subjects in


constructions coding transitive propositions
in Chamorro narratives (i.e., ergative
and irrealis transitive)

Plural subjects 243 19.6%


Singular subjects 999 80.4%

Total 1242 100.0%

The observations in the data suggest the following conclusion:


constraint (7), which states that plural full NP's cannot occur in sub-
ject position in Chamorro transitive sentences, correlates directly with
and is a grammaticalization of discourse-pragmatic regularities, i.e.,
first of all that singular referents are higher in degree of topicality
than are plural ones (see Tables 14-17), and secondly, that the former
are also more topic-worthy than the latter (see Table 18).

S.2. Animacy

Corresponding to constraint (8) there are two separate discourse prag-


matic regularities we can observe in Chamorro: (a) animate NP's are
more topical than inanimate ones, and (b) pronouns are more topical
than are full NP's. Evidence from Chamorro narrative discourse for
both claims was given in Cooreman (1983). The issue of pronouns
will be taken up in the next subsection.
With respect to animacy, the quantitative analysis yields the fol-
lowing results:

1. The average values of inanimate NP's for referential distance and


persistence are higher and lower respectively than those of animate
NP's, showing animate referents being more topical than inani-
mates (see Table 19):
90 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

Table 19. Average values for referential distance and


topic persistence for animate and
inanimate referents (data
from Cooreman, 198S)

Animates Inanimates

referential (806) (173)


distance 3.4 11.3

topic
persistence 1.8 0.2

2. Consistent with 1 we can also observe that inanimates are proto-


typically coded by less topical grammatical NP coding devices
(such as definite NP's), or vice versa, the most topical grammati-
cal coding devices, i.e., 0-anaphora and verb agreement alone, axe
more frequently used for animates than for inanimates (see Tables
20 and 21).

Table 20. Relative distribution of grammatical coding


devices over all animate and inanimate
subjects (data from Cooreman, 1983)

Inanimates Animates

O-anaphora/verb agreement 21 26.9% 444 61.8%


independent pronouns 0 0.0% 19 2.6%
definite NP's 40 51.3% 239 33.2%
indefinite NP's 17 21.8% 17 2.4%

Total 78 100.0% 719 100.0%


Topicality and obligatory passives 91

Table 21. Relative distribution of grammatical coding


devices over all animate and inanimate direct
objects (data from Cooreman, 1983)

Inanimates Animates

0-anaphora/verb agreement 12 13.8% 28 29.5%


independent pronouns 0 0.0% 4 4.2%
definite NP's 62 71.3% 53 55.8%
indefinite NP's 13 14.9% 10 10.5%

Total 78 100.0% 719 100.0%

3. Inanimates are more frequently found in direct object position in


the sentence (which prototypically codes the semantic role of
Object) than animates, i.e., 89.8% of all inanimates vs. 40.4% of
all animates (see Table 22).

Table 22. Distribution of animates and inanimates over


agents and objects in syntactically
transitive clauses

Animates Inanimates

Agents 801 59.6% 33 10.2%


Objects 542 40.4% 292 89.8%

Total 1343 100.0% 325 100.0%

4. Consistent with 3, inanimates rarely function as semantic Agents


(only in 4% of all cases) (see Table 23).
Thus, not only the fact that inanimate NP's have a higher value
for referential distance and a lower one for persistence than animate
referents numerically, but also the fact that they generally function as
Objects in direct object position, is evidence for the lower topicality of
92 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

T a b l e 23. Distribution of animate and inanimate


agents over all transitive
propositions

Inanimate Agents 34 4%
Animate Agents 800 96%

Total 834 100%

inanimate NP's overall. Animate NP's, as we know, are commonly


chosen to fulfill the role of Agent in the proposition and Agents in
general are higher in topicality than Objects (see T a b l e 6).
T h e fact that Chamorro grammar does not allow inanimate NP's
in Agent/subject position when the Object is animate corresponds to
a more general observable discourse-pragmatic fact that animates are
higher in topicality than inanimates in the narrative and thus are
found in the most topical position of the clause, i.e., the subject posi-
tion.

S.S. Pronouns and the hierarchy of topicality

S.S.I. Third person pronouns. With reference to the pronouns, it


seems intuitively right that pronominal referents ought to be more
topical than full NP's since pronouns can only be used when the
referents which they intend to code have been introduced in the
immediately preceding discourse. They cannot be used to introduce
new referential entities in the narrative. Full NP's (definite and
indefinite), however, can introduce new elements and are frequently
used to reintroduce elements after a relatively long gap.
As observed in Cooreman (1983), the results of the quantitative
method corroborate the intuition that pronouns referring to third per-
son referents are higher in topicality than their full NP counterparts
(see Tables 24, 25, and 26 taken from Cooreman 1983). Pronouns act
Topicality and obligatory passives 93

very much like the grammatical coding devices 0-anaphora and verb
agreement. The referential values for distance and persistence are
roughly the same in all three categories.

Table 24. Average counts for referents coded by O-anaphora


or verb agreement

Subjects Non-subjects

Accusative Dative Genitive

referential
distance
animate (444) 1.2 (28) 1.6 (9) 1.2
inanimate (21) 1.1 (12) 1.1

topic
persistence
animate 1.8 1.7
inanimate 0.4 0.2

The grammatical constraint which compels the speaker to select a


passive construction rather than an active one when the Agent is
non-pronominal and the Object is a pronoun, correlates with the
observed fact that pronominal referents are more topical in Chamorro
narratives than non-pronominal ones. Hence, they are assigned sub-
ject function, marking them as the highest topical element in the
clause.

S.S.2. First and second person pronouns. I have already pointed out
that the quantitative method can provide evidence for the status of
higher topicality of third person pronouns only as compared to full
NP's. (See Chapter 2.) The method cannot assess the value for
referential distance of first and second person deictic pronouns in
discourse with respect to other nominale in the clause by counting
sentences to the left. Both first and second person referents are
always given at any point in the discourse, and hence are always
5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

Table 25. Average counts for referents coded


as independent pronouns

Subjects Non-subjects
Accusative Dative Genitive

referential
distance
animate (19) 1.1 (4) 1.5 (3) 1.0 (49) 1.1
inanimate (4) 0.2

topic
persistence
animate 1.4 1.7 5.0 1.7
inanimate 4.2

Table 26. Average counts for referents coded


as definite NP's

Subjects Non-subjects
Accusative Dative Genitive
referential
distance
animate (239) 6.5 (53) 6.4 (13) 7.5 (26) 4.5
inanimate (40) 13.5 (62) 7.4

topic
persistence
animate 1.8 1.1 1.8 1.5
inanimate 0.2 0.4
Topicality and obligatory passives 95

highly topical by the very fact that there is a speaker and a hearer
(i.e., an ' and a 'you' referent) in every narrative situation.
Even though a quantitative analysis cannot provide evidence for
some of the restrictions imposed on grammatical patterns involving
first and second person referents in Chamorro, I will show that the
alternative account suggested by Chung (1980), based on the seman-
tic constraints stated in (7) and (8) above, lacks the predictive power
it purports to have and, in addition, has to make some counter-
intuitive claims about the pronominal vs. non-pronominal nature of
certain syntactic morphemes. There is some evidence based on per-
ceptual salience, which relates to the way referents in a given situa-
tion are seized on by humans as foci of attention (Comrie, 1981)
which suggests that first and second person pronouns are more topical
than third person pronouns. This relatively higher degree of topical-
ity of first and second person pronouns can explain some of the
phenomena observed in Chamorro.
With respect to the claim that pronominal direct objects cannot
be outranked by non-pronominal subjects, Chung (1980) expanded on
the notion 'pronominal.' She explains in a footnote that pronominal
referents include two categories:

(i) NP's that are realized as overt independent pronouns, and (ii)
those NP's whose reference is always determined by the speech
situation. Type (i) includes all N P anaphors except for inani-
mates and transitive subjects, which have no overt morphological
realization. Type (ii) includes all first and second person pro-
noun anaphors, whether or not they are realized overtly. Note
that 'overt realization' here means realization as an independent
pronoun; whether an anaphor triggers agreement is a separate
issue. (Chung 1980, footnote 6, p. 331)

This remark implies that all third person ergative and irrealis agree-
ment markers are considered non-pronominal, whereas first and
second person ergative and irrealis agreement markers are considered
examples of pronominal realization, a claim which I find counterintui-
tive and ad-hoc. Moreover, the differentiation itself would wrongfully
96 5. Functional analysis of passives in C h a m o r r o

predict the ungrammatically of a number of clauses. The following


examples would not be allowed by Chung's filter coupled to the
definition of pronoun-ness.

(11) Ha- hungok hit.


E.3s- hear A.1P1
'He heard us.'

(12) Ha- honggt hamyo.


E.3s- hear A.2P1
'He heard you.'

(13) Ha- na'i siha kande.


E.3s- give A.3P1 candy
'He gave them candy.'

(14) Ha- na'i hao ni lepblo.


E.3s- give A. 2s OBL book
'He gave you the book.'

(15) Ha- galuti yo\


E.3s- hit A.Is
'He hit me.'

Examples (12) and (14) in which the Agent is third person and the
Object second person singular or plural, areas Chung (personal com-
munication) rightly points outnot preferred renditions of the under-
lying semantic proposition. Many speakers would prefer a passive.
The fact that (13) may sound odd and may not be preferred by many
speakers is, I believe, due to the fact that not only inanimates, but
also animate third person anaphoric referents are not overtly
expressed in discourse, since their referential identity is clear from the
preceding discourse context. Morphologically overt anaphoric refer-
ence to third person Object referents is rare in Chamorro discourse.
Chung's data (1980) suggest that examples like (12) and (14) are
completely ungrammatical. Even though the majority of my native
consultants preferred a passive rendition over the active version in
(14), examples like it were not only volunteered as alternatives in
Topicality and obligatory passives 97

direct elicitation sessions, but they were also found in spontaneous


discourse. Example:

(16) Pues ha- ne- mutta hao.


then E.3s- CAUS- fine A.2s
8
'And then they (=police) fined y o u . ' (55;60)

The fact that active clauses of this type are rare and that passive ver-
sions are preferred when the Object is a second person pronoun
(singular or plural) and the Agent is a third person referent suggests
that there is a hierarchy ordering second persons higher than third.
The fact that second persons are treated as being more topical than
third person referents should not be surprising. Pragmatically, the
'you' referent must be more perceptually salient to the speaker, and
hence more topical than a third person referent by virtue of its rela-
tion to the referent. There is direct contact (often in the form of
eye-contact) between 'you' and ' in the context of a cummunicative
interaction which necessarily lacks the link between and
'he/she/it,' even though both may be given in the discourse context.
Instead of the possible sentences (12) and (14), the passive clauses
(17) and (18) are preferred:

(17) Man- h-tn- engge hamyo


PI- PAS- believe A.2s
(nu guiya).
OBL EMP.3s
'He believed you (all)./
You (all) were believed (by him).'

(18) Ni- na'i hao ni lepblo


PAS- give A. 2s OBL book
(nu guiya).
OBL EMP.3s
'He gave you the book./
You were given the book (by him).'
98 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

T h e observation that most speakers do not accept the inclusion of the


oblique Agent personal pronouns in (17) and (18) can be explained by
the fact that the morphological form is superfluous since the discourse
context provides ample clues as to the identity of the anaphoric
Agent.
Even though one cannot assess the degree of topicality of first and
second person pronouns numerically, the fact that they are always
given in the discourse makes them highly topical. In this regard then,
it is no surprise that (17) and (18) are preferred over the active
clauses in (12) and (14). T h e measurement of referential distance
assesses the topicality of an element in terms of the degree to which
the speaker assumes the hearer to be able to identify the referent.
Since 'you' is always uniquely identifiable it is also highly topical and
thusconsistent with the pragmatically based predictions made so far
for Chamorroone expects this referent to be coded as a highly topi-
cal element in the clause, i.e., as the syntactic subject.
Even excluding examples like (12), (13), and (14), Chung's filter
would have a hard time accounting for the perfectly grammatical sen-
tences ( l l ) and (15) in which an active clause is used to code a propo-
sition with a third person Agent and a first person singular or plural
Object. In addition, contrary to what the filter would predict, passive
versions of these sentences are considered ungrammatical by most
speakers (see further below). T h e fact that first and second person
referents are always highly topical, uniquely identifiable entities in the
discourse also explains the observation that when either the first or
second person pronoun functions as the Agent, they can under no cir-
cumstances be backgrounded into oblique position through passiviza-
tion. T h e result would be a passive construction which is quite awk-
ward. (This is probably true of most languages, including English.)

(19) a. Hu- li't' gut'.


E.ls- see A.3s
saw him.'
Topicality and obligatory passives 99

b. *L-in- i't' gut' nu guahu.


PAS- see A.3s OBL EMP.ls
'??He was seen by me.'

(20) a. Un- hongok i taotao.


E.2s- hear the man
'You heard the man.'
b. *H-in- enggok i taotao
PAS- hear the man
nu hagu.
OBL EMP.2s
'??The man was heard by you.'

(21) In- / a- galuti


E.lPl(excl)/ E.lPl(incl)- hit
i ga'lagu.
the dog
'We hit the dog.'
b. * G- in- aluti t ga 'lagu
PAS- hit the dog
nu hami/ hita.
OBL EMP.lPl(excl)/ EMP.lPl(incl)
'??The dog was hit by us.'

(22) a. En- na 'a 'yao t bieinu


E.2P1- lend the neighbor
nt kareta-n- miyu.
OBL car- N- 2P1.POS
'You lent your car to the neighbor.'
b. *Ni- na'a'yao i bieinu
PAS- lend the neighbor
ni kareta-n- miyu nu hamyu.
OBL car- N- 2.P1.POS OBL EMP.2P1
'??Your car was lent to the neighbor by you.'

First and second person referents differ in that only second person
Objects can be and are preferred to be foregrounded into subject
100 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

position through the use of a passive construction. (See [17] and


[18].) It is not immediately obvious why for most (though not all)
speakers first person pronouns (singular and plural), functioning as
Objects, exclusively occur as direct objects in an active clause, even
when the Agent is inanimate (with the exclusion of those instances in
which the Agent is a third person plural full NP). This appears to
contradict the prediction that direct objects cannot outrank subjects
on the hierarchy animate > inanimate, and pronoun > non-pronoun,
but is only applicable to first and not to second person referents.
When the Agent is inanimate, either an active or a passive construc-
tion can be used. When the identity of the Agent is requested by the
speaker, a passive must be used. The motivation for passivization
here is clearly pragmatic.

(23) a. Ha- na'i yo' mansana i


E.3s-give A. Is apple the child
patgon.
child
'The child gave me an apple.'
b. *Ni- na'i yo' mansana ni
PAS-give A.Is apple OBL
patgon.
child
was given an apple by the child.'

(24) a. Hayi s-in- angani ham/


who PAS- tell A.lPl(excl)/
hit ni i anse?
A.lPl(incl) OBL the answer
'Who told us the answer?/
By whom were we told the answer?'
b. *Hayi ha- sangani ham/
who E.3s- tell A.lPl(excl) /
Topicality and obligatory passives 101

hit ni i answer?
A.lPl(incl) OBL the answer
'Who told us the answer?'

(25) Ha- na'- ma ' yo'/


E.3s- CAUS- afraid A.Is/
ham/ hit t estoria.
A.lPl(excl)/ A.lPl(incl) the story
'The story frightened me.'
b. Ni- na - ma'a'hao yo'/
PAS- CAUS- afraid A.Is/
ham/ hit ni estoria.
A.lPl(excl)/ A.lPl(incl) OBL story
/ w e was/were frightened by the story.'

(26) Ha- galuti hao t

E.3s- hit A.2s the man


taotao.
man
'The man hit you.'
G-in- aluti hao nt
PAS- hit A.2s OBL
taotao. (preferred)
man
'You were hit by the man.'

(27) *Ha- na - ma ' hao


E.3s- CAUS- afraid A.2s
i estoria.
the story
'The story frightened you.'
b. Ni- na'- ma ' hao
PAS- CAUS- afraid A.2s
ni eetoria.
OBL story
'You were frightened by the story.'
102 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

First person referents seem to act like inanimate referents when func-
tioning as Objects. (See also Gibson, 1981.) That there is a
difference between first and second person referents on this level is not
immediately accounted for, though I would like to suggest a possible
explanation. Both referents are uniquely identifiable from the
discourse context but are given in different ways. 'You' and 'he' are
perceived by the speaker as part of the discourse environment. 'You,'
in its role as addressee, is closer and thus more perceptually salient to
the speaker (because of eye-to-eye contact) than a pragmatically given
third person referent (e.g., 'he, she, or it'). The ' (which is always
included in the 'we') is not an entity that is perceived within the
discourse environment since it refers to the speaker him/herself whose
reference never changes. Even though the ' referent is or may ulti-
mately be the most topical element in the discourse, since its identity
does not change with respect to the speaker, although that of the
'you' may, the speaker may not portray himself as being the most
important, most salient participant in the narrative. Culturally
based rules (e.g., based on modesty or politeness) may be reflected in
the languagealthough they may be synchronically opaqueresulting
in grammatical rules, as in Chamorro, so that in the judgement of
most speakers, first person singular and plural pronominal Objects
can not be promoted to subject position which would result in the
pragmatic backgrounding of the Agent referent in the discourse.
The possibility of two alternative versions of the same semantic
proposition, i.e., an active one and a passive one, as (26) a. and b.
seem to suggest, begs the question of whether or not certain discourse
contexts exist in which the preference of one over the other can be
predicted. As I shall show below, there is strong evidence that the
choice between a passive and an active construction, when both seem
equally plausible, is indeed predictable for third person Agent and
Object referents and there seems to be some (be it somewhat tenta-
tive) evidence that the same prediction may hold for the choice
between clauses like (26) a. and b. in which the Object is a second
person referent and the Agent third person.
Passives, topicality, and agentivity 13

4. P a s s i v e s , t o p i c a l i t y , a n d a g e n t i v i t y

4-1. Topic-shift

This section will look at the occurrence of passives in clause sequences


in Chamorro in which a topic-shift has taken place. The clause
sequences under investigation consist of two consecutive propositions
in which the referent of the Agent in the first proposition is identical
to the Object referent in the second and the Object referent of the
first proposition is also identical to the Agent referent of the second.
We can present this situation in the following scheme:

Proposition A Proposition
Agent Object Agent Object
R 1
R R R
J ,j i

Since the degree of topicality, in terms of the measurement for


referential distance, 4 is the same for both the Agent and the Object in
the second proposition (i.e., the value is 1 for both referents), the
quantitative method provides no answer to the question which of the
participants should be marked as the highest topical element in the
clause, i.e., the subject of the sentence.
As (28) shows, in English this decision is clause internal as it is
dependent on the semantic role of the referents in the clause itself: the
Agent most often will be chosen as syntactic subject in the clause.

(28) John saw Mary in town today.


a. She stopped him in front of the bank.
b.??He was stopped (by her) in front of the bank.

This choice is not surprising since Agents on the whole are more topi-
cal than Objects in narrative discourse.
104 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

However, quite unexpectedlyat least from the point of view of


English speakersChamorro speakers do no opt for an active clause in
the second proposition of such clause sequences, but prefer a passive
rendition similar to the questionable English example in (28)b.
As a point of departure, (29) below provides an example of two
consecutive clauses in which no topic-shift has taken place and in
which the second clause retains its ergative pattern. The first ergative
construction with the predicate hakasttga contains an Agent which is
marked as the highest topical element in the clause. The second erga-
tive clause is similar: the Agent referent is the same as the Agent in
the previous clause and the Object is also referentially identical to the
Object of the first clause. When the referent of the Agent in the first
clause of a sequel keeps its semantic role in the next clause, it seems
natural that it also retains its marking as highest topic of the proposi-
tion, i.e., its coding as syntactic subject, since Agents are on the
whole more topical than Objects.

Puts lalalo dankolo lalalo' ha


then mad great mad- 3s.POS
si rai nt t patgon.
UNM king OBL the child
Pues anat monhayan ha- kastiga
then when finished E.3s- punish
(0), ha- dulalak (o).
(him) E.3s- chase (him)
'Then the king got mad, his madness at the child
was great. When he(=the king) was finished
punishing him, he chased him away.' (61;51-52)

In (30) and (31) an active irrealis clause is followed by a passive one


in which the Object has the same referent as the Agent of the previ-
ous active clause. It is the Agent referent of the first which is selected
as the highest topic in the new proposition.
Passives, topicality, and agentivity 105

Sen malago' si Joaquin para


very want UNM Jack IRR
u- kuentusi si Maria lao
IRR.3s- talk to UNM Mary
ti ni- na'i gut' chansa.
neg PAS- give A.3s chance
'Jack wanted very much to talk to Mary but he
wasn't given a chance (by her).' (31;86-87)

Ha- li'e' un patgon ni


E.Ss- see a child REL
man- mateteni lepblo yan
A.P. -RED-hold book and
eh-in- a- ehatge gue'.
PAS- RED-laugh at A.3s
'He saw a child who was holding a book and he
was being laughed at (by him).' (V.4;5)

Theoretically, there seem to be three alternatives as to what may


happen when the Agent of the first clause shifts its semantic role to
Object in the next and the Object in the first clause becomes the
Agent in the following one as in (30) and (31):
1. Regardless of its previous semantic role, the referent with Agent
status in the new clause will be considered more topical and thus
function as subject of the clause.
2. Regardless of its semantic role in the new clause, the referent of
the subject of the first clause will keep its status as highest topical
element and thus remain in subject position.
3. The referent of the Agent in the first clause will carry its higher
degree of topicality over to the next sentence and will become the
new subject, regardless of its new role of Object.
The three alternatives would predict the following grammatical pat-
terns (the indices . and . indicate referential identity):
106 . Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

Situation 1
first clause second clause
a. active active
Agent =subj. Agent ,=subj.
Object .=d.o. Object =d. o.
b. passive active
Object =subj. Agent =subj.
Agent =obl.Agent Object ,=d.o.

Situation 2
first clause second clause
a. active passive
Agent =subj. Object =subj.
Object =d.o. Agent ,=obl.Agent
b. passive active
Object ,=subject Agent =subject
Agent ,=obl. Agent Object =d.o.

Situation 3
first clause second clause
a. active passive
Agent ,=subject Object =subject
Object ,=d.o. Agent =obl.Agent
b. passive passive
Object ^subject Object subject
Agent ,=obl. Agent Agent =obl.Agent

The first alternative describes the pattern which is generally used in


English as shown in (28).
Example (30) and (31) are still in accordance with both alterna-
tives 2 and 3. However, the fact that referents of Oblique Agents are
also selected to become the subject of a following clause shows that
Chamorro speakers do not merely try to keep the referent of the sub-
ject constant. Hence, we are left with alternative 3. Examples:
Passives, t o p i c a l i t y , and a g e n t i v i t y 107

(32) Despues di enao, t- in- ahgue t


after that PAS- replace the
Aliman nt Chapants. 1 Chapanes
German OBL Japanese the Japanese
nt- na 'i nt Aliman na u-
PAS-give OBL German COMP IRR.3s-
hatme este eiha na isla.
enter this PI LINK islands
'After this, the Germans were replaced by the
Japanese. The Japanese were given these islands
by the Germans so that they would enter them.' (53;8-9)

(33) Si Dona Carmen f-in- aieen


UNM lady Carmen PAS- ask
kao etna k-in- enne' gue'
Q can PAS- take A.3s
para i adeneru- ha.
to the garden- 3s.POS
'It was the lady Carmen whom he asked whether he
could be taken to her garden (by her).' (62;71)

In the second clause of each of these two examples both Agent and
Object have the same value for referential distance. (See Footnote 4.)
Yet, it is the Object of the new clause whose referent functioned as
Agent in the previous clause which is chosen to become the new sub-
ject.
As in English, the decision in Chamorro which referent should be
marked as highest topic in the second proposition of a clause sequel in
which a topic-shift of the sort described above has taken place is
based on semantic roles. Unlike English, however, the decision is not
clause-internal, but takes into account the semantic roles of the
referents in the previous proposition. In particular, it is the Agent of
the first proposition which is chosen as syntactic subject of the second
clause in the sequel.
108 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

Frequency counts show that this choice is systematic in Chamorro


narratives.

Table 27. Relative distribution of propositions with


equally topical Agents and Objects over
5
ergative clauses and IN-passives

Ergatives with T ( A ) = T(O) 165 80.1%


IN-passives with T ( A ) = T(O) 41 19.9%

Total 206 100.0%

T(A)=degree of topicality of Agent


T ( 0 ) = d e g r e e of topicality of Object

Of 206 clauses in which both Agent and Object are of equal topicality
numerically and have animate referents coded by highly topical N P
coding devices, 165 clauses were ergative whereas 41 used the IN-
passive.
The rule which governs the choice between ergative constructions
and IN-passives when both the Agent and the Object have the same
value for referential distance can be stated in two parts, the second of
which I will specifically call the rule of topic-shift:

1. The Agent referent of the clause will be assigned subject function


of an ergative construction (or a transitive irrealis), only if its pre-
vious reference fulfilled the role of Agent as well.

2. Rule of topic-shift: when topic-shift occurs, i.e., when the Object


referent of a proposition functioned as an Agent in the previous
clause, the Object will be assigned subject function, resulting in an
obligatory passive construction.

There are relatively few instances in which the general rule is


violated: I found eight instances of IN-passives and three instances of
ergatives where the rule would have predicted the use of the other
construction. Still, this amounts to only a 5.3% rate of exception
overall. Many of the exceptions themselves turn out to be explicable
Passives, topicality, and agentivity 109

in terms of larger discourse units in which one of the participants


functions as a unifying paragraph level theme. (See Chapter 8.)
As it stands, the decision in both English and Chamorro as to
which of the two "equally" topical referents in the proposition will be
coded as subject/highest topic is dependent on the semantic roles of
the participants. In English it is dependent on the semantic role of
the referents in the clause itself, whereas in Chamorro the decision is
contingent on the semantic roles of the participants in previous refer-
ence. In both languages the decision is based on a hierarchy of
semantic roles whose involvement in assigning topicality has been pre-
viously acknowledged by linguists (e.g., Hawkinson and Hyman 1974,
Givon 1976, among others):

(34) Hierarchy of semantic roles


Agent > Dative > Object > Oblique}

Since subjects in general code the highest topical element, the


selection of the Agent as subject is consistent with the prediction
made by the quantitative method, i.e., that in narrative discourse, all
other things being equal, the Agent will be assigned subject function
since it is considered the highest topical element.

4-2. Second person objects

The observations in this section so far were made in connection with


third person referents only. Even though the evidence is at this point
very scant, the pattern seems to work in part for second person
referents as well. When the Agent of a proposition is a second person,
the sentence will always be active, regardless of the type of Object,
regardless also of its degree of topicality in relation to the Object, and
regardless of the semantic role that Object may have had in previous
reference. However, there seems to be a choice when the Agent is
third person and animate and the Object second person. If both par-
ticipants have referents in the previous clause and the second person
was Agent of that clause, a passive will be used as one might predict:
110 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

(35) Sangan- i ya un-


tell- PRM and IRR.2s-
f-in- a'tinae- i tenguan- mti.
PAS- make PRM lunch- 2s.POS
'Tell her and your lunch will be made
for you (by her).' (81;106)

Examples like (35) are commonly found in the data.


In (35) 'you' is the Agent, 'her' the Object of the imperative
second clause. The third person referent is Agent in the second
clause, but it is the Object, the second person, which is coded as the
subject, indicating its status of highest topic in the proposition.
There seems also to be some evidence that the active, ergative (or
irrealis) construction will be used when the third person Agent also
functioned as the Agent in the previous clause. The evidence is scant
as it is based on only one example in the data (example [16] repeated
here as (36]):

(36) Pues ha- na'- mutta hao.


then E.3s- CAUS- fine A.2s
8
'And then they (=police) fined you.' (55;60)

This sentence follows another one in which the second person referent
was the Object, the third person referent the Agent. Unfortunately, I
have found only one instance like (36) in the nearly 200 pages of nar-
rative text. The systematic choice which I have suggested in this
paragraph, parallel to the well-illustrated and substantiated one for
third person referents would be nice. However, since there are no
other examples of this sort available to corroborate the present
hypothesis, it seems necessary to explore alternative hypothetical
explanations as well.
As indicated in section 3.3.2. second person referents are con-
sidered highly topical and are preferably marked as the highest topi-
cal element in the clause, i.e., as the syntactic subject in a passive
construction. Their status as highly topical elements is pragmatically
Passives, topicality, and agentivity 111

based on the fact that they are always given, uniquely identifiable
within the discourse context.
In (36), however, the referent of hao is not uniquely identifiable as
the addressee, but serves as an indefinite pronoun, generic in sense,
similar to the generic use of the pronoun 'you' (as in 'You never can
tell') and the pronoun 'one' in English. (36) may be an exception to
the preferred use of passive constructions, precisely because the 'you'
referent is indefinite and hence not topical at all. This hypothesis,
like the previous one, is equally plausible within the pragmatic frame-
work of topicality presented in this dissertation.
A third possibility accounting for (36) is that the speaker may
have made a mistake, inadvertently slipped. It is not unusual for
speakers of any language to experience at one time or another that
they cannot plan ahead as fast as they speak with the result that false
starts occur or inappropriate constructions are used.

4-3. Complement constructions

The systematic pattern in the choice of passive over active clauses


under the conditions described above is also observable in comple-
ment clauses. When the main verb is a verb of manipulation, and the
Agent in the complement clause is the controlled Object of the main
clause, the passive construction is, again, obligatory:

(37) Ha- agang i taotao para


E.3s- call the man IRR
u- t- in- attiyi gue'.
IRR.3s- PAS- follow A.3s
'He called the man to follow him. (lit. so that
he be followed by him [=the man])'

(38) Man-ma- agang i famagu'on as


PI- PAS- call the children OBL
112 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

nana- n- hiha para u-fan- ma-


mother-N- 3P1.P0S IRR IRR.3P1- PAS-
tattiyi (siha).
follow (A.3P1)
'The mothers called their children to follow them,
(lit., The children were called by their mothers
so that they[=mothers] would be followed [by
them] [=children].)'

Un- faisen gue' para un-


E.2s- ask A.3s IRR IRR.2s
ni- na'i ni lepblo.
PAS- give OBL book
'You asked him to give you the book.'

These complement clauses otherwise adhere to the restrictions


imposed on first and second person pronouns, i.e., when first and
second person pronouns function as Agents, they necessarily need to
be coded as subjects, and secondly, when first person singular pro-
nominal referents function as Objects, they cannot be promoted to
subject position but have to be coded as direct objects of an active
clause:

(40) a. Ha- faisen hao para un-


E.3s- ask A.2s IRR IRR.2s-
tattiyi grit'.
follow A.3s
'He asked you to follow him.'
b. *Ha- fats en hao para u-
E.3s- ask A.2s IRR IRR.3s-
t- in- attiyi gue' nu hagu.
PAS- follow A.3s OBL EMP.2s

(41) a. Ha- faisen yo' para baihu


E.3s- ask A.Is IRR IRR. Is-
Passives, topicality, and agentivity 113

tattiyi gue
follow A.3s
'He asked me to follow him.'
* Ha- faisen yo' para u-
E.Ss- ask A.Ss IRR IRR.Ss-
t- in- attiyi gue' nu guahu.
PAS- follow A.3s OBL EMP.ls

Hu- faieen i lahi para


E.ls- ask the man IRR
u- fahan- iyi yo' ni lepblo.
IRR.3s- buy- PRM A.Is OBL book
asked the man to buy me the book.'
*Hu- faieen i lahi para
E.ls- ask the man IRR
baihu- /- in- ahan- iyi ni lepblo.
IRR.ls- PAS- buy- P R M OBL book

4-4- Direct quote discourse in narratives

One more remark is germane to this section. There are instances of


clauses in which the Agent and the Object are equally topical since
one of them was the 'I' referent and the other the 'you' referent in a
preceding piece of direct discourse. When the direct discourse stops
and the narrative continues, a passive will be used if the Object of the
new proposition was the speaker of the dialogue and the Agent the
intended addressee. In these cases, the syntactic coding of the partici-
pants is not dependent on the semantic roles of their referents in a
previous clause, but rather on the actual pragmatic role which they
fulfilled as speaker (=Agent) and listener (=Object) in the dialogue.
114 5. Functional analysis of passives in Chamorro

Notes

1. When the plural subject is not overtly present but indicated


through verb agreement alone, these sentences are grammatical.
Compare:

a. Ma- li'e' i famagu'on.


E.3P1- see the children
'They saw the children.'

b. Man- ma- li'e' t famagu'on.


Pl- PAS- see the children
'They saw the children/The children were seen.'

c. *Ma- li'e' i lalahi t famagu'on.


E.3pl-see the men the children
'The men saw the children.'

d. Man- ma- li'e' t famagu 'on


PL - PAS- see the children
ni lalahi
OBL men
'The children were seen by the men/
The men saw the children.'

2. This sentence is grammatical only with the meaning:

The man hit himself.

3. Collective referents are often treated as singular. Hence, the erga-


tive agreement marker for third person singular has been used in
this case. (See also Chung, 1980, footnote 5, p. 331.)
4. The measurement for referential distance is the same for both par-
ticipants in these cases, and even though the value for persistence
was not (i.e. sometimes it was higher for Agent than for Object,
and vice versa), it did not affect the choice.
Notes 115

5. I have left out constructions in which the IN-passive is used to


mark emphatic focus constructions in which the Object is focussed
upon. These instances will be compared with the emphatic con-
structions in which the Agent has been focussed, equally resulting
in a marked, special construction using the ergative infix -UM- in
realis clauses. These instances will be discussed in Chapter 6.
C h a p t e r Six

A functional look at the antipassive

1. Preliminaries

The syntactic intransitivity of the Chamorro antipassive does not


only correlate with discourse pragmatic functions (dealt with in
Chapter 4), but also with semantic ones. Semantically, both the
Indefinite Antipassive and what I have called the Demoting Antipas-
sive are best explained in terms of the functional analysis of transi-
tivity proposed by Hopper and Thompson (1980).
Hopper and Thompson (1980) describe and provide evidence for a
number of semantic parameters which may influence the morpho-
syntactic coding of transitive propositions, i.e., those involving at
least two participants, an Agent and an Object, and describing an
activity which is effectively transferred from the Agent onto the
Object. These semantic parameters which may affect the transitive
status of the proposition involve characteristics of both the Agent
(i.e., volition and degree of Agency) and the Object (i.e., the degree of
affectedness and individuation), and properties of the predicate (i.e.,
kinesis, aspect, mode, punctuality, and affirmation). These parame-
ters are to be interpreted as scalar in nature, where properties at the
extreme ends correspond to high and low degrees of transitivity.
Hopper and Thompson (1980) provide evidence from a number of
unrelated languages for a universal property of grammars in which
features which mark a sentence as being low in transitivity (or high,
as the case may be) correlate with other features which mark the sen-
tence in a similar way. However, features for high transitivity never
correlate with properties of low transitivity. Thus, a transitive propo-
sition in a particular language may be syntactically marked intransi-
tive just in case some other property in the clause marks the proposi-
tion as being low in transitivity.
T h e Indefinite Antipassive 117

In order to give an overall functional analysis of the antipassive, it


will be necessary to repeat in part some of the findings presented in
Chapter 4 where the antipassive was compared to other constructions
in Chamorro in terms of the relative topicality of the major partici-
pants in the propositions. Section 2 in this chapter will recapitulate
the pragmatic function of the Indefinite Antipassive in Chamorro nar-
ratives already discussed in the general comparison. It also introduces
a semantic function related to the status of the Object which may be
involved in the choice of an intransitive clause type to code a transi-
tive proposition. Section 3 deals with the possible semantic and prag-
matic functions which may be ascribed to the Demoting Antipassive
and section 4 discusses the influence aspect has on the occurrence of
both types of antipassive.

2. The Indefinite Antipassive

As indicated in Chapter 3, the Indefinite Antipassive is by far the


more common type of antipassive found in Chamorro discourse, i.e.,
93.7% of all antipassives in the data. (See Chapter 4.) It is used
obligatorily when the Object is indefinite (hence the name Indefinite
Antipassive) and may occur with or without overt reference to the
Object. (See Table 10 in Chapter 4 for relative distribution.)
Semantically, Indefinite Antipassives with overt Objects overlap in
function with Object-incorporating clauses in other languages (e.g.,
Jacaltec [Craig, 1976], Eskimo). In the majority of cases the overt
Objects in the Chamorro Indefinite Antipassive are generic and non-
referential (see Table 28): The syntactically intransitive status of con-
structions like the Indefinite Antipassive and Object-incorporation
correlates with one of the parameters described by Hopper and
Thompson (1980). The marked decrease in transitivity in these cases
is a function of one of the semantic properties of the Object, i.e., its
degree of "individuation," where "individuation" refers to its "dis-
tinctness from the Agent and its distinctness from its own back-
ground" (Hopper and Thompson, 1980, p. 253). The opposition
between definiteness and indefiniteness is only one of the possible
118 6. A functional look at the antipassive

Table 28. Distribution of referential and non-referential


overt Objects in antipassives in
Chamorro narrative discourse

referential Objects 6 12.5%


non-referential Objects 42 87.5%

Total 48 100.0%

features which may be involved in the individuation of a referent.


(See Timberlake, 1975.) If transitivity refers to a transfer from an
Agent to an Object, this transfer is more effective and more successful
when the Object is individuated, i.e., easily recognized as a uniquely
identifiable element, than when it is not. Thus, an Object is often
viewed as more completely affected when it is definite than when it is
not (Hopper and Thompson 1980, p. 253). T h e less effective transfer
is often marked by a syntactically intransitive clause as is the case
with the Indefinite Antipassive in Chamorro. Obviously, non-overt
Objects rank lowest on the scale of individuation.
T h e above explanation is obviously a semantic one. However, the
syntactic coding of the proposition as being intransitive also has a
pragmatic correlate. The Objects of Indefinite Antipassives in
Chamorro are always new, mentioned for the first time in the
discourse. They also are not maintained as topics in the narrative
sequel. (See Chapter 4.) T h e quantitative method revealed that
Objects of Indefinite Antipassives are markedly lower in topicality
than Objects of ergative constructions (and their irrealis equivalent)
which make up the bulk of transitive propositions in Chamorro narra-
tives. Since they have not been mentioned before, they are assigned
the maximally high value for referential distance, and since they are
not maintained as topics in the narrative, they have the maximally
low value for persistence. This pragmatic markedness is coded syn-
tactically by an intransitive construction.
The Demoting Antipassive 119

The Indefinite Antipassive is not the only case in which there is an


apparent correlation between pragmatic markedness for topicality and
syntactic transitivity. In Chapter 4 we observed that the ergative
construction (and its irrealis equivalent) seems to be the most basic
one in the language. It is the most common way in which Chamorro
speakers present new information to the interlocutor. The
subject/Agent is fairly high in topicality, the Object has a lower value
(although not quite as low as with the Objects of the Indefinite
Antipassive; see Cooreman, 1982). In general, it is the case in
Chamorro t h a t the transitive construction will be replaced by an
intransitive one when a marked change occurs in the expected average
degree of topicality of both participants in the transitive proposition,
where I assume the averages obtained in the ergative to function as
the norm. Thus, we obtain an intransitive antipassive construction
when the topical value of the Object decreases to a minimum, but in
addition, when the degree of topicality of the Agent is lower than
expected in relation to the Object of the proposition, an intransitive
passive construction will be used. T h e Objectless antipassive and the
Agentless passive (marked with the prefix ma- provide extreme cases
of presenting non-topical elements in the discourse, inducing the
appearance of an intransitive construction. (See Chapter 4.)
Thus, the Indefinite Antipassive in Chamorro correlates with two
separate functions: (a) semantically it presents Objects which rank
low with respect to the scalar property of individuation so t h a t the
activity transfer seems less effective, and (b) pragmatically, it intro-
duces new, non-referential, non-topical Objects into the narrative
discourse.

3. The Demoting Antipassive

T h e Demoting Antipassive (a term inspired by relational grammar)


codes a transitive proposition in which the semantic definite Object is
not marked as the syntactic direct object of the clause, but rather has
been placed in an Oblique position marked by an Oblique or Locative
prefix. 1 Examples:
120 6. A functional look at the antipassive

(1) a. Un- honggc i lahi.


E.2s believe the man
'You believe the man.'
b. Man- kongge hao nu
A.P.- believe A.2s OBL
i lahi
the man
'You believe/have faith in the man.'

(2) a. Ha- faisen i patgon nu


E.3s ask the child OBL
t kueetion.
the question
'He asked the child a question.'
b. Mamaieen gue' gi patgon nu
A.P.-ask A.3s LOC child OBL
t kueetion.
the question
'He asked the question from the child.'

There are three semantic functions which characterize the Demot-


ing Antipassive in Chamorro. The marked decrease in syntactic tran-
sitivity accompanies a marked decrease in semantic transitivity along
two possible parameters involving characteristics of the two major
participants: (a) the affectedness of the object, a parameter discussed
by Hopper and Thompson (1980), and (b) the identity of the agent.
Both these semantic parameters and their effect on the syntactic cod-
ing of transitive propositions will be discussed in the following two
subsections.
A third semantic function of the Demoting Antipassive involves
aspectual features of the predicate. This function also applies to the
Indefinite Antipassive and will be discussed below.
The three semantic features will be presented separately for
clarity's sake. However, it needs to be pointed out that in reality
they often overlap so that it is often difficult to single out separate
functions for any particular use of the antipassive in Chamorro. The
T h e D e m o t i n g Antipassive 121

functions are not in complementary distribution but frequently co-


occur. This leads to the question of whether there is a unifying prin-
ciple on the semantic level which characterizes all the separate func-
tions outlined for both the Indefinite and Demoting Antipassive. This
last issue will be examined as well later in this chapter.
Finally, a third subsection will look at some evidence that the
Demoting Antipassive operates on the pragmatic level as well.

S.l. Affectednees of the object

Hopper and Thompson (1980) cite some evidence that in many


languages, when the Object is only partly affected by the action, one
often finds a concomitant signal in the clause for reduced transitivity.
In many languages this reduction of transitivity results in an intransi-
tive antipassive construction (e.g., Tongan, Eskimo, etc.).
Even though the meaning of partitive Object is not commonly
obtained with the occurrence of a Demoting Antipassive in Chamorro,
the semantic parameter of "affectedness of the Object" seems to be a
valid one to operate with. If we interpret this in terms of a lasting
effect on the Object, such as a change in location, form, and/or qual-
ity, then the restrictions which apply on the potential use of the
Demoting Antipassive as opposed to a syntactically transitive con-
struction, provide the grounds for a distinction between two classes of
verbs in Chamorro which can be identified semantically, precisely on
the basis of whether the action, described in the verb, implies a last-
ing effect on the Object or not. Verbs which can be positively marked
for this semantic condition (Class l ) cannot appear in Demoting
Antipassive constructions. Verbs which do not imply such a lasting
effect (Class 2) on their Objects, readily allow the antipassive rendi-
tion of the state of affairs they describe. 2 Examples:

(3) a. In- chile' i litratu.


E.lpl- take the picture
'We took the picture.'
122 6. A functional look at the antipassive

b. *Man- mahule' ham nu


PI- A.P.-take A.lpl OBL
i litratu.
the picture
c. Man- mahule' ham gi litratu.
PI- A.P.-take A.lpl LOC picture
'We took some of the pictures.'

(4) a. Ha- offreei hao si Juan


E.3s- offer A. 2s UNM Juan
8
ni salape'.
OBL money
'John offered you the money.'
b. Man- offrest si Juan nu
A.P.- offer UNM Juan OBL
hagu ni salape'.
EMP.2s OBL money
'John offered the money to you.'

In (3), chule' affects the Object NP in that the picture actually comes
into existence through the action of the verb. In (4), offrest does not
change its syntactic Object in any way. The person who gets the
money offered to him does not change, he does not become richer
through the offer itself. The act of offering is not yet the act of giv-
ing, though it soon may follow. According to this analysis, one would
expect the verb 'to give' to belong to our Class 1 verbs which do not
allow the Demoting Antipassive. This is indeed the case:

(5) a. Ha- na'i hao si Juan


E.3s- give A.2s UNM Juan
ni lepblo.
OBL book
'John gave you the book.'
The Demoting Antipassive 123

b. *Man- na 'i gut' ni lepblo


A.P.- give A. 3s OBL book
nu/ para/ giya hagu.
OBL/ for/to/ LOC EMP.2.S
'He gave the book to/for you.'

(5) b is grammatical with the phrase para hagu only when its
intended meaning is 'He gave the book to someone for you.' This
interpretation with an indefinite, unidentified (dative) Object
classifies the clause as an Indefinite Antipassive. Similarly, in (3) c.,
the Locative case can only be interpreted as marking an indefinite,
partial Object.
Examples of Class 1 verbs which do not allow a Demoting
Antipassive include: na'ayao 'to lend to,' which like 'to give' implies
that the dative Object comes into possession of something he did not
have before; btndt 'to sell,' fahan 'to buy,' haksa 'to lift/to build,'
dulalak 'to chase away,' etc., which all imply movement of the
affected Object; lakse 'to sew,' fa'tinae 'to make/to cook,' tuge' 'to
write,' etc., which like chule' in example (3) imply the coming into
existence of the Object; fa'gasi 'to wash,' na'gasgas 'to clean,' yulang
'to break,' puno' 'to kill,' utot 'to cut, to chop down,' tongge' 'to set
on fire,' etc., all of which affect the quality of the Object in some way.
The following are examples of predicates which belong to Class 2,
i.e., those verbs which do not imply a lasting effect on the Object and
which allow the use of the Demoting Antipassive: fatten 'to ask,'
hongge 'to believe,' bisita 'to visit,' ayuda 'to help,' haeto 'to
remember,' chatge 'to laugh at,' mantieni 'to grasp, seize, keep,' galuti
'to hit,' guaiya 'to love,' atan 'to look at,' patek 'to kick,' kombida 'to
invite,' rikognisa 'to recognize,'etc... The verbs galuti 'to hit' and
patek 'to kick' may seem problematic at first sight. However, they do
not describe an action which necessarily affects the Object, e.g., one
can kick a wall without affecting it. Even though a person can be
hurt by being kicked or hit, the verbs themselves do not inherently
imply this effect on the Object. 4 When these verbs are used in the
antipassive form with a definite Object, the result is that a distance is
created between the action itself and the Object which is supposed to
124 6. A functional look at the antipassive

undergo the event. Thus, one can kick a t the cat, which may leave
open the question of whether one actually hit it or not. On the other
hand, even though in English one can say that one cut or hacked a t a
tree, in which the use of the preposition creates a syntactic distance
between predicate and Object, the tree is still affected by the activity,
even though only partially. T h e semantic distance between the predi-
cate and the Object, in the sense that the latter is potentially not
affected, cannot be obtained with verbs of Class 1.
T h e D e m o t i n g Antipassive then, which turns a transitive proposi-
tion into an intransitive one, should not strike speakers of English as
strange, since English has a similar process where the Object is
demoted into a prepositional phrase, making the sentence intransitive
as well. Compare the following Chamorro sentences with their
English translations:

(6) a. Hu- hongge i taotao.


E.ls- believe the man
believe the man.'
b. Man hongge yo' nu t taotao.
A.P.- believe A.Is OBL the m a n
b e l i e v e / h a v e faith in the man.'

(7) a. Un- patek i ga'lagu.


E.2s- kick the dog
'You kicked the dog.'
b. Mamatek hao gi ga'lago.
A.P.- kick A.2s LOC dog
'You kicked at the dog.'

(8) a. Ha- guaiya yo si Juan.


E.3s- love A.Is UNM Juan
'John loves me.'
b. Mang-guaiya ei Juan nu guahu.
A.P.-love UNM Juan OBL EMP.ls
'John is in love with me.'
The Demoting Antipassive 125

There are a number of verbs which semantically belong to our


second class of verbs, yet do not allow a Demoting Antipassive con-
struction: tattiyi 'to follow,' fa'nu'i 'to show,' ma'asi'i 'to pity,' pint-
tiyt 'to lament,' atoki 'to hide from,' mumuyi 'to fight for,' etc. Mor-
phologically, these verbs consist of the stem of an intransitive predi-
cate, followed by an allomorph of the suffix -t, which has been called
a promotional suffix since it promotes an Oblique N P of an intransi-
tive verb into the direct Object of a derived transitive clause. Exam-
ples:

(9) a. Ma'ast si Jose nu guahu.


sorry UNM Jose OBL EMP.ls
'Joe was sorry for me.'
b. Ha- ma'asi'i yo' si Jose.
E.Ss- pity-PRM A.Is UNM Jose
'Joe pitied me.'

(10) a. Mumu gut' para i ehe'lu- ha.


fight A.3s for the sibling-3s.POS
'He fought for/on behalf of his sister.'
b. Ha- mumuyi t ehe'lu- ha.
E.3s- fight-PRM for the sibling-Ss.POS
'He fought for/on behalf of his sister.'

(11) a. Man- a- atok eiha gias


PI- RED- hide A.3pl LOC
tata- n- hiha.
father- N- 3pl.POS
'They were hiding from their father.'
b. Ma- a- tu- tuki si
E.3P1- RED- hide-PRM UNM
tata- n-hiha.
father- N- 3pl.POS
'They were hiding from their father.'
126 6. A functional look at the antipassive

T h e fact t h a t the resulting transitive verbs do not occur in a Demot-


ing Antipassive construction can be explained by a redundancy argu-
ment. The direct Object of the morphologically derived transitive
clauses can be present in a lower syntactic case in a sentence in which
the intransitive root of the verb is used. The syntactic function of the
Demoting Antipassive is to demote a direct Object into a lower syn-
tactic case, i.e., a Locative or Oblique, resulting in a syntactically
intransitive clause pattern. Since this intransitive clause pattern
already exists in the language for the above verbs, the Demoting
Antipassive would only duplicate this function. This form is func-
tionally superfluous, and it is excluded in the language. 5 T o sum up
briefly, in Chamorro, the Demoting Antipassive, in one of its sub-
types, is optionally used with a certain class of verbs whose actions do
not necessarily imply a marked effect on the Object semantically.
Thus, with these verbs, the transfer of the action from the Agent onto
the Object may not be as effective, resulting in the decreased semantic
transitivity of the proposition. This marked semantic decrease can be
accompanied by a marked syntactic decrease in transitivity as well,
when the proposition is coded as an intransitive antipassive construc-
tion in which the Object has been demoted into an oblique syntactic
case.

S.2. Identity of the agent

The Demoting Antipassive is sometimes accepted by native speakers


with those transitive verbs which normally do not allow this construc-
tion (e.g., [12]). The sentence is then accorded a specific, though
fairly marginal interpretation, i.e., that the subject/Agent was
involved in, took part in, or was one of those who performed the act
described by the verb with respect to the definite Object. Examples:

(12) a. Ha- yulang si Juan i kareta.


E.3s- break UNM John the car
'John wrecked the car.'
The Demoting Antipassive 127

b. Man- yulang si Juan gi kareta.


A.P.- break UNM John LOC car
'John was involved/took part in wrecking the car.'

(13) a. Ha- ayuda yo\


E.3s- help A. Is
'He helped me.'
b. Man- ayuda gut' nu guahu.
A.P. -help A.3s OBL EMP.ls
'He was one of those who helped me.'

Sentence (12) b. is grammatical only with this specific interpretation


of "partial Agent." In this marginal and somewhat strained interpre-
tation, the identity of the Agent who is responsible for the action is
not entirely given.
The Demoting Antipassive becomes possible also in complement
clauses with those verbs which normally do not allow this type of con-
struction when the main verb in the clause implies that the Agent of
the complement clause was not the only one performing the activity.
A good example is (14) c. where the predicate of the matrix help
induces the "partial Agent" interpretation for the complement clause:

(14) a. Ha- puno' si Juan t babut.


E.3s- kill UNM Juan the pig
'John killed the pig.'
b. * Mamuno' si Juan ni babut.
A.P.-kill UNM Juan OBL Pig
c. Ha- ayuda et Juan si
E.3s- help UNM Juan UNM
Jose mamuno' ni babut.
Jose A.P.-kill OBL Pig
'John helped Joe kill the pig.'

In Chamorro, the effect of a partial Agent on the sentence runs


parallel to the effect partial Objects may have in many languages, as
indicated by Hopper and Thompson (1980), i.e., the degree of
128 6. A functional look at the antipassive

transitivity of the clause decreases. The transfer of the action from


the Agent onto the Object is not described in its entirety since the
remainder of the group of Agents remains unspecified in the clause.
This decrease in semantic transitivity may optionally be accompanied
by a decrease in syntactic transitivity resulting in the proposition
being coded as an intransitive, antipassive construction.
The semantic feature discussed in this subsection has not been
described by Hopper and Thompson and it is not known to me
whether it is a unique feature of Chamorro or whether it affects the
degree of transitivity crosslinguistically in a variety of other non-
related languages.

S.S. A pragmatic functional correlate for the demoting antipassive

In the texts examined so far, only four instances of Demoting


Antipassives could be found. As a result, applying the quantitative
method in order to assess the average degree of topicality of the
demoted Objects is as yet premature. However, one would expect
these demoted Objects to be lower in topicality than the direct objects
of syntactically transitive clauses, similar to the results obtained for
the Objects occurring in Indefinite Antipassive constructions.
As Rude (1983) reports, such results have already been obtained
in the ergative American Indian language Nez Perce. Referents coded
as direct objects of syntactically transitive clauses are higher in topi-
cality than Objects of antipassives and are also higher than any other
oblique referents which could potentially be coded as direct objects
through a promotion process. (The semantic cases which allow pro-
motion to direct object are Datives, Goals, Sources, Associatives,
Instruments, and Locatives.)
There is at least some evidence that the Demoting Antipassive is
involved in a pragmatically backgrounding function. I will refrain for
the time being from giving a precise definition of the term back-
grounding as it is used in this context, and assume that the way in
which I will illustrate it here makes sufficiently clear what I mean by
it. The evidence which I will present is based on WH-questions in
The Demoting Antipassive 129

which the identity of the Object is requested. If a speaker inquires


after the identity of a referent, it is safe to assume that he attaches
some importance to that referent within the discourse context. Thus,
in some sense, the questioned element is pragmatically foregrounded
or focussed upon. The claim that the Demoting Antipassive is
involved in backgrounding the Object, in decreasing in some sense the
pragmatic salience of its referent, hinges indirectly on the fact that
the Demoting Antipassive never occurs in an environment in which
the Object referent is necessarily highly salient, e.g., in a WH-
question requesting information about its identity. Thus (15) d. is
ungrammatical:

(15) a. Ha- panek si Juan eete


E.3s- beat UNM Juan this
t lalahi.
the men
'John beat these men.'
b. Mamantk si Juan nu este
A.P.-beat UNM Juan OBL this
t lalahi.
the men
'John pounded on these men.'
c. Hayi na lalahi ha- panek
WH LINK men E.3s- beat
si Juan f
UNM Juan
'Which men did John beat?'
d. * Hayi na lalahi mamantk
WH LINK men A.P.-beat
si Juan?
UNM Juan

Whereas the antipassive is acceptable in declaratives (see [15] b.), it is


not when the Object is foregrounded as in a WH-question requesting
the identity of the Object referent.
130 6. A functional look at the antipassive

4. Aspect

In the introduction I mentioned that Hopper and Thompson (1980)


not only described parameters involving the Agent and Object of the
clause jus having an influence on the transitivity of a proposition, but
also discussed properties of the predicate which may potentially
decrease the degree of transitivity of the clause.
In Chamorro, the antipassive is often used to refer to repeated
action. Previously Chung (1980, p. 316-317) indicated that the
antipassive frequently occurs when the action is iterative or distribu-
tive. Example:

(16) Mang- galuti gue' i ga'lagu.


A.P.- hit A.3s the dog
'He pounded on/repeatedly hit the dog.'

This aspectual meaning applies to both the Indefinite and the Demot-
ing Antipassive. When the activity is not seen as having a distinct
endpoint, the total effect of the action on the Object cannot be
described since the action transfer from the Agent onto the Object is
not completed. Hence, the semantic transitivity of the proposition is
lower than when the action is completely carried out. Thus, antipas-
sives are often used to describe habitual activities such as planting
sugar cane, raising animals, etc. These sorts of activities happened in
the past and are often implied to occur also after the point of refer-
ence in time with respect to which these habitual activities were
described.
The correlation with the Indefinite Antipassive is obvious here
since in habitual activities the specific identity of the Object is often
less crucial, since the Object most often refers to a whole class of pos-
sible referents (i.e., is generic):

(17) Man- mananom tupu i Chapanes


PI- A.P.-plant sugarcane the Japanese
Aspect 131

giya Saipan.
LOC Saipan
'The Japanese used to plant sugar cane on Saipan.'

The intended aspectual shift in the direction of prolonged, non-


punctual activities often induces the occurrence of Demoted Antipas-
sives in which the meaning of the verb root has slightly shifted and is
not altogether the same as if the same predicate were used in a transi-
tive ergative, punctual construction. Examples:

(18) Hu- mantieni i banku.


E.ls- grasp the chair
grasped the chair.'
b. Man- mantieni yo' nt banku.
A.P.- hold onto A.Is OBL
held onto the chair.'

(19) Ha- atani et Juan t


E.3s- look at UNM Juan
amiga- ha.
girlfriend- 3s.POS
'John looked at his girlfriend.'
b. Man- atani et Juan nu
A.P. -look at UNM Juan
t amiga- ha.
the girlfriend- 3s.POS
'John took care of his girlfriend.'

The action in (18) a. is rather momentary; the one in (19) b. is


not punctual at all, but describes a more lasting, continuous state-of-
affairs. In (19) a. John's looking at his girlfriend is not necessarily a
punctual event, but it seems to refer to an event which occurred only
once and is described in its entirety. (19) b. describes a longer pro-
cess over time which is distributive. John probably does not take care
of his girlfriend during all his waking hours, yet there is no real end to
the transfer from the Agent 'John' to the patient/Object 'his
132 6. A functional look at the antipassive

girlfriend,' and the process itself may involve a number of distinct


activities.

5. General function of the antipassive

So far, the use of the Demoting Antipassive has been linked with two
different interpretations. I discussed the marginal and somewhat
strained interpretation of 'partial Agent' and I also indicated that
both the Indefinite Antipassive and the Demoting Antipassive can be
used to imply a repetitive, habitual, or distributive activity.
Above, I gave the semantic condition which predicates must fulfill
in order to occur in a Demoting Antipassive, i.e., only those predi-
cates which do not necessarily imply a lasting effect on the definite
Object can occur in a Demoting Antipassive construction. However,
nothing was said about what the actual usage of such an antipassive
entails in discourse. I have not given any reason why Chamorro
speakers would want to use a Demoting Antipassive in discourse when
the intention is not to indicate a "partial Agent" interpretation or the
repetitive, habitual, or distributive aspect of a particular state-of-
affairs.
On the basis of the analysis presented so far, one would expect the
syntactic intransitivity of this particular construction to be due to a
decrease in importance of the Object of the proposition. This is
exactly what we find. The Demoting Antipassive is used to
emphasize the action or state-of-affairs depicted in the predicate. As
a result, the identity of the Object becomes less important, since it is
the activity itself which is highlighted. A number of examples will
illustrate this point.

(20) a. Hu- guaiya hao.


E.ls- love A.2s
love you.'
General function of the antipassive 133

b. Mang- guaiya yo' nu hagu.


A.P.- love A.ls OBL EMP.2s
'I'm in love with you.'
c. Mang- guaiya yo\
A.P.- love A.ls
'I'm in love/I love someone.'
d. *Hu- guaiya.
E.ls- love

(20) a. describes an emotional activity in which the identity of both


the Agent and the Object are important. The use of the Demoting
Antipassive in (20) b. intends to stress the emotional state of the
speaker. What counts is what he feels and not so much whom these
feelings are directed to. The identity of the Object becomes less cru-
cial a result. The emphasis on the state in which the speaker finds
himself comes across very well in the English translations also. (The
same translation was given by a number of different native consul-
tants.) The phrase I am in love describes more of a general state of
mind than an emotional activity directed towards a particular person.
Notice that one can say I am in love (as in [20] c.) but not I love ([20]
d.) without specifying the Object of your affection. (Example [20] d.
is potentially grammatical if the direct object has been deleted
through anaphoric coreference.)
Next, consider:

(21) a. Para baihu- bieita si Rosa


IRR IRR. Is- visit UNM Rosa
gi espitat.
LOC hospital
'I'm going to visit Rosa in the hospital.'
b. Para baihu- mam- bieita as
IRR IRR. Is- A.P.- visit OBL
Rosa gi espitat.
Rosa LOC hospital
'I'm going to visit Rosa in the hospital.'
134 6. A functional look at the antipassive

(21) b. in contrast to (21) a., which merely asserts the intention of the
speaker to go and visit Rosa in the hospital, can be used to answer a
question like Why are you going away?. Questions like this emphasize
the activity expressed in the predicate. In this case the fact that the
Agent is going to visit somebody is more salient than who that some-
body might be. The speaker him(her)self may still attach some
importance to the identity of the Object and as a result will mention
it in the proposition, although pragmatically it is not of importance
in view of the question the antipassive clause intends to answer.
Consider a third example:

(22) a. Hu- hongge i taotao.


E.ls- believe the man
believe the man.'
b. Man- hongge yo' nu i taotao.
A.P.- believe A. Is OBL the man
believe/have faith in I man.'

One particular context created by one of my consultants for (22) b.


may also illustrate how the Demoting Antipassive emphasizes the
activity described in the predicate itself without the identity of the
Object being essential. (22) a. can be a mere assertion. (22) b. on the
other hand, can be used in response to someone doubting the validity
of a sentence like (22) a. The speaker of (22) b. may use the Demot-
ing Antipassive in response to someone else saying something like You
don't believe the man, do you?, thus asserting the validity of the
predicate as a whole. The Object itself, which had been given in the
previous piece of the conversation, is not as important anymore, as
the action of believing is stressed.
It should be clear that when the activity described in the predicate
gets the main emphasis in the clause, the identity of the Object
involved is only of marginal interest. It is also easier to lessen the
importance of the Object in the proposition when it is not necessarily
affected by the activity anyway. This may provide an explanation of
why Chamorro does not allow the Demoting Antipassive with predi-
cates that necessarily imply a lasting effect on the Object.
Genera] function of the antipassive 135

T h e interpretation of the antipassive as emphasizing the activity


expressed in the predicate provides a nice link between the Demoting
and Indefinite Antipassive. It is obvious that when the Activity itself
is emphasized, and as a result the importance of the Object decreased,
one can easily leave out the Object. Thus, in reply to the question
Why art you going away? to which (21) b. would provide an appropri-
ate answer, the speaker could have just as well used an Indefinite
Antipassive like:

(23) Para baihu- mam- bisita gi espitat.


IRR I R R . Is- A.P.-visit LOC hospital
'I'm going to visit somebody in the hospital.'

Similarly, habituals, repetitive and distributive activities stress the


activity of the predicate itself more than the involvement of the
Object given in the proposition.
T h e fact t h a t the antipassive in general can be characterized in
this way may also explain the observation t h a t in narrative texts
there are very few Demoting Antipassive constructions in which the
identity of the Object (as definite N P ) is clearly given. Since it is the
activity and not the involvement of the Object which is seen to be
most important, it should not be surprising t h a t C h a m o r r o speakers
tend to leave the Object out altogether, or at least leave it
unidentified. (This accounts for the high rate of Indefinite Antipas-
sives in general, and Indefinite Antipassives without any reference to
an Object in particular in narratives.)
It seems necessary at this point to slightly modify one of the
semantic characteristics involved in syntactic transitivity in
C h a m o r r o as I described them in Chapter 4. On the basis of the
present discussion of the Chamorro antipassive, it appears that not
only a clearly identifiable Agent be present who initiates the event
(characteristic [a]), but also t h a t a clearly identifiable Object be
present that registers the impact of the event (i.e., characteristic [b])
and in addition that this Object is affected in some way by the
activity described in the proposition.
136 6. A f u n c t i o n a l look at the antipassive

Notes

1. The two cases are not interchangeable. The Locative case seems
to be more widespread and acceptable than the Oblique one. If
there is a pattern to the distribution and preference of one over
the other, I have not yet been able to detect it.
2. Object can be antipassized while accompanied by an Object
modified by a definite demonstrative as in a) below. However,
these Object NP's do not have referential definite interpretations,
rather, they are short forms of a longer phrase exemplified in b):

Man- mahule' ham nu ayu


PL- A.P.-take A.lpl OBL that
na litratu.
LINK picture(s)
Man- mahule' ham nu ayu
PL- A.P.-take A.1P1 OBL that
na klase- litratu.
LINK sort- picture(s)
'We took that kind of pictures.'

The obtained indefinite interpretation, which is the same for a) as


for b), solves the apparent counterexample and classifies this
antipassive as belonging to the Indefinite type. In addition,
Objects of the form ayu i litratu, which are necessarily definite and
referential are not allowed in the antipassive construction with
verbs of Class 1:

c. *Man- mahule' ham nu ayu


PI- A.P.-take A.lpl OBL that
i litratu.
the picture
Notes 137

3. Both na'i 'to give' and offresi 'to offer,' are bitransitive verbs, i.e.,
they take both a patient and dative Object in the clause. The
patient Object occurs with the Oblique case marker in the transi-
tive clause whereas the dative is marked as the syntactic direct
Object. In the antipassive version, both semantic roles are marked
as being Oblique, either by the Locative or the Oblique case
marker as shown in (5) b.
4. Outside of this class of verbs are two more verbs which follow this
pattern. Both li'e' 'to see' and tungo' 'to know' are verbs which
do not seem to affect the Object, yet they do not allow the Demot-
ing antipassive. I have no explanation for these counterexamples.

5. T h e verb fa'nu'i 'to show' seems to be a fossilized form since no


intransitive verb without the suffix -t exists in present day
Chamorro. However, it follows the same pattern as the other
verbs in this class.
6. An additional, interesting remark can be made in connection with
verbs of Class 1 and 2. T h e semantically motivated distinction is
not unique for Chamorro. There are a number of other, unrelated
languages in which a similar differentiation is made resulting in
different morphological markings on the verb or on the Object.
For instance, in Eskimo Class 1 and 2 verbs both appear in
antipassive constructions. However, verbs of Class 1 such as 'stab'
and 'find,' in which the Object is more or less directly affected by
the action carried out by the Agent, are marked with the antipas-
sive marker -et (or its allomorph -ji). Verbs of Class 2 like 'see,'
'watch,' 'look for' do not allow this marker. Furthermore, predi-
cates which do take -si must be accompanied by an overt Object
in the Oblique case, whereas clauses with verbs of Class 2 which
do not take this marker may be objectless. Again the degree to
which the Object is affected by the activity expressed in the predi-
cate determines the degree of transitivity of the clause which codes
the proposition. The antipassive is an intransitive construction
though one could argue that Objectless constructions in which the
verb implies little effect on the Object which is left out altogether,
are more intransitive than ones in which the presence of an
138 6. A functional look at the antipassive

Objectbe it Oblique or notis required. (Data from T.S. Mallon,


cited in Johnson, 1980.)
Chapter Seven

Complex sentence constructions

In this chapter I will deal with two specific coding devices which are
used in a restricted number of complex clause patterns. The first of
these two coding devices involves the use of the ergative infix -UM- as
a replacement for ergative agreement markers; the second one
involves nominalization of the proposition (either with or without the
nominalizing infix -IN-). (See Chapter 3.)
These particular devices are used in a number of different environ-
ments, i.e., in certain sentential complements, in relative clauses,
WH-questions, focus constructions and clauses containing indefinite
quantifiers (e.g., none, some, all, many). The question arises whether
we can uncover a set of constraints which warrant the use of the same
coding device in these different environments. As I shall show in the
course of this chapter, there are syntactic, semantic and pragmatic
similarities which these different constructions may in fact share.
Whereas syntactic and semantic similarities between relative clauses,
WH-questions and focus constructions have been noted and discussed
before by various linguists (e.g., Keenan and Hull 1973; Schachter
1973; Harries-Delisle, 1978; among others), they have not been com-
pared with sentential complements or propositions containing
indefinite modifiers.
In the first section of this chapter, I will discuss the constraints
governing the use of the the ergative infix - UM- each of the complex
clause patterns separately before discussing the syntactic, semantic
and pragmatic functions which they share. First of all, I will look at
the conditions which operate on the appearance (obligatory and
optional) of the ergative infix in sentential complements. I will show
that there is a strong correlation between the use of this particular
coding device and the degree to which the state of affairs described in
the complement is implied. In addition, the categorization of senten-
140 7. Complex sentence constructions

tial complements in Chamorro corroborates the "Hierarchy of Bind-


ing" proposed by Givon (1980a), which will be discussed below.
Secondly I will deal with the distribution of the ergative infix in
other complex clause types. Thirdly I will give the general properties
of those complex clause types which determine the appearance of the
ergative infix -UM-.
The second major section of this chapter discusses complex clauses
coded by nomtnalized constructions. Even though these appear in
much the same environments as the propositions coded by means of
the ergative infix (with the exception of sentential complements),
there are some important differences in their syntactic and semantic
function.

1. The ergative infix - U M -

1.1. Complement clauses

The first type of complex clauses in which the ergative infix -UM- can
and sometimes must appear is a complement clause (see also Chung,
1982; Safford, 1904-06). There are two types of complement clauses
in which one may find this particular construction: (a) complements
of manipulative or control verbs whose Agent exerts some influence
on the action performed by the Agent in the proposition of the
embedded clause, and (b) complements of modality or self-
manipulation verbs where the action of the embedded proposition is
self-induced by the Agent of the main clause. The choice of comple-
ment coding is directly related to the notion of logical implicativity
and the notion of degree of control on the part of the Agent of the
main verb over the action in the complement. The more control the
Agent of the matrix clause has over the event in the complement, the
less the complement will be coded as an independent main clause.
This correlation between the semantics of the verb and the choice of
coding device for the embedded complement has been suggested previ-
ously by Givon (1980a). As I will show below, the Chamorro data
provide further evidence for his "Hierarchy of Binding."
The ergative infix -UM- 141

1.1.1. Types of complement clauses.1 There are two syntactic coding


devices attested in Chamorro for complements of control and self-
manipulation verbs. The first one involves the absence of any kind of
complementizer separating the complement clause from the main
clause, and the use of a non-finite verb through the insertion of the
ergative infix -UM- between the first consonant and vowel of the ver-
bal root. Example:

(l) Ha- nna'


a- para si Juan
E.3s- CAUS- stop UNM Juan
si Maria k-um- anno' t mansana.
UNM Maria E.I.- eat the apple
'John stopped Mary from eating the apple.'

The second introduces each complement clause with a complementizer


and the verb is marked for irrealis mood: 2

(2) Ha- angongokko si Maria na


E.3s- RED-expect UNM Maria COMP
u- sodda' i asagua- ha
IRR. 3s- find the spouse- 3s.POS
gi gima
LOC house
'Maria expected to find her husband home.'

Both control and self-manipulation verbs fall into different categories


according to the type of complement coding they select. These
categories will be described and discussed below.

1.1.2. Manipulative verbs. Manipulative verbs take one of two types


of complements: (a) the first class allows only complements in which
the verbal agreement markers have been replaced with the ergative
infix -UM-, (b) the second class of verbs takes complements which are
separated from the matrix by a complementizer and in which the verb
is marked for irrealis. As (l) and (3) show, na'para 'stop' belongs to
the first category.
142 7. Complex sentence constructions

* Ha- na - para si Juan


E.3s- CAUS- stop UNM Juan
81 Maria na/para u- kanno'
UNM Maria COMP IRR.3s- eat
i mansana.
the apple

(This sentence could actually be grammatical in the marginal sense of


John stopped Mary who was about to eat the apple.)
Other examples of manipulative verbs fitting in this class are
ataha 'prevent,' and ayuda 'help.'

(4) a. In- ataha i Chapanes h-um-


E.1P1- prevent the Japanese E.I.-
atme iya Guam.
invade place Guam
'We prevented the Japanese from invading Guam.'
b. *In- ataha i Chapanes na/para
E.1P1- prevent the Japanese COMP
u- hatme iya Guam.
IRR.3s- invade place Guam

(5) a. Ha- ayuda si tata- hu


E.3s- help UNM father- ls.POS
t che 'lu- hu urn- arekla
the sibling- ls.POS E.I. -fix
t kareta.
the car
'My father helped my brother fix the car.'
b. *Ha- ayuda si tata- hu
E.3s- help UNM father- ls.POS
t che'lu- hu na/para ti-
the sibling- ls.POS COMP IRR.3s-
arekla i kareta.
fix the car
The ergative infix -UM- 143

Verbs of the second class take only those complements which are
separated from the main clause by a complementizer and in which the
embedded verb is marked for irrealis. Verbs belonging to this
category include malago' 'want,' kombida 'invite,' ekspekta/angokko
'expect, trust,' sangani 'tell,' stdi 'allow,' prohibi 'forbid,'
afuetsas/obligao 'force, oblige, compel,' otden 'order,' etc. Examples:

a. Ha- otden 81 Juan si


E.3s- order UNM Juan UNM
Maria na u- hokka i niyok.
Maria COMP IRR.3s pick the coconut
J
'John ordered Mary to pick the coconut
b. *Ha- otden si Juan si
E.3s- order UNM Juan UNM
Maria h-um- okka t niyok.
Maria E.I.- pick the coconut

a. Hu- malago - i i asagua-


E.ls- want- PRM the spouse-
hu u- fagasi i kareta
Is.POS COMP IRR.3s wash the car
want my husband to wash the car.'
b. *Hu- malago' - t t asagua-
E.ls- want PRM the spouse-
hu f-um- agasi i kareta.
Is.POS E.I.- wash the car

The choice of complement sentence correlates with the degree of logi-


cal implicativity. Of the three examples given, one, i.e., ayuda 'help,'
is positively implicative, i.e., the truth of the whole sentence implies
necessarily the truth of the complement, whereas the other two,
na'para 'stop' and ataha 'prevent' are negatively implicative, i.e., the
truth of the whole sentence implies necessarily that the embedded
complement is false. Thus, if it is true that my father helped my
brother fix the car, it is necessarily true that my brother was fixing
the car. Similarly, if it is true that John stopped Mary from eating
144 7. Complex sentence constructions

the apple, it is logically necessary that Mary, as a result, did not eat
the apple.
This condition does not apply to the second class of manipulative
verbs. If Mary is ordered to pick the coconut, she can ignore this
order, not pick the coconut, and the whole sentence could still be true.
Verbs which are implicative in English do not always correlate
with implicative verbs in Chamorro. Notice t h a t for most speakers of
English the verb 'force' is implicative. Yet in Chamorro it seems not
to be. (There are possibly cultural differences involved.) The choice
of complement type under the verb afuetsas clearly shows the correla-
tion of the ergative infix with logical implicativity. Under normal cir-
cumstances afuetsas only allows the second type of complement.
When the -UM- construction is used nevertheless, we end up with a
rather forced interpretation which is implicative:

(8) Ha- afuetsas si JJuan


uan si
E.3s- force UNM Juan UNM
Maria k-um- anno' i mansana.
Maria E.I.- eat the
'John forced Mary to eat the apple.' Or
'John forced the apple into Mary's mouth.' (loose tr.)

The selection of -UM- here explicitly grants more control to the Agent
of the manipulative verb. Mary has no choice in this case but to eat
the apple or choke.
This measure of control correlates with another syntactic observa-
tion. Notice that in all the examples above the Agent/subjects of the
complement clauses function as direct object of the main clause. The
first class of manipulative verbs, i.e., those which require the ergative
infix -UM-, also require the Agent/subject of the embedded clause to
serve as the drect object of the main clause. Compare (5) with (9):

(9) *Ha- ayuda si tata- hu


E.3s- help UNM father- ls.POS
The ergative infix -UM- 145

um- arekla i che'lu- hu


E.I.- fix the sibling- ls.POS
i kareta.
the car
'My father helped my brother fix the car.'

Changing the type of complement does not legitimize this kind of


structure either:

(10) *Ha- ayuda si tata- hu


E.3s- help UNM father- ls.POS
na/para u- arekla t che 'lu-
COMP IRR.3s- fix the sibling-
hu t kareta.
ls.POS the car

The second class of manipulative verbs (which takes a complement


introduced by a complementizer) splits up into two categories, i.e.,
those which require the embedded Agent to function as direct object
in the main clause, and those which do not. Verbs like afuetsas
'force,' obligao 'oblige, compel' and sangant 'tell, order' belong to the
former category, whereas malago'i 'want,' sedi 'allow,' ektpekta
'expect,' prohibi 'prohibit, forbid,' etc. belong to the latter. Exam-
ples:

Ha- obligao t ma'estro t


E.3s- compel the teacher the
patgon para u- cho'gue i
child COMP IRR.3s- do the
eetudia- ha.
study- 3s.POS
'The teacher compelled the child to do his homework.'
b. *Ha- obligao i ma'estro para
E.3s- compel the teacher COMP
146 7. Complex sentence constructions

u- cho 'gue i patgon i


IRR.3s- do the child the
estudia- ha.
study- 3s.POS

Ha- prohibi si Tun Jose i


E.3s- forbid UNM Uncle Joe the
primu- hu na u- dingu
cousin- Is.POS COMP IRR.3s- leave
i gima'.
the house
'Uncle Joe forbade my cousin to leave the house.'
Ha- prohibi si Tun Jose na
E.3s- forbid UNM Uncle Joe COMP
u- dingu t primu- hu
IRR.3s- leave the cousin- Is.POS
gima
the house
'Uncle Joe forbade that my cousin should
leave the house.'

Observe that the meaning of (12) b. allows for an interpretation of an


indirect order, i.e., Uncie Joe told someone else that my cousin should
not leave the house. When the Agent/subject of the embedding does
not serve the function of direct object in the matrix sentence, this
implies some reduced control of the Agent of the main clause over the
Agent in the embedded complement. The presence of the
Agent/subject of the embedded clause in direct object position in the
main clause, allows the Agent of the main clause to act directly,
without a mediator, on that referent. What is involved here then is a
measure of direct vs. indirect control.
It is obvious that for an Agent to be successful in making someone
do (or, as the case may be, not do) something, direct control is
required over the individual one wants to perform (or not perform) a
certain activity. Hence, the implicative manipulative verbs require
The ergative infix -UM- 147

the Agent/subject of the complement to be in their range of direct


control, viz. in the direct object position of the main clause.
Furthermore, some non-implicative manipulative verbs semanti-
cally require some kind of direct control over the manipulated Agent
in the complement. Whereas it is conceivable to issue an order, an
invitation, etc. indirectly to get someone to perform a certain activity,
verbs like 'force' and 'tell' require direct control by the manipulator
over the manipulee. Hence they require the Agent/subject of the
complement to function as direct object in the main clause, since this
codes the referent as being within the direct range of control of the
Agent of the main clause.
In summary, we can say that the Chamorro verbs of manipulation
we have talked about so far, fall into three distinct categories: Class 1
includes manipulative implicative verbs which require the -UM- con-
struction in the embedded complement. Class 2 contains non-
implicative verbs. Within this second class two subcategories can be
distinguished: (a) manipulative non-implicative verbs which semanti-
cally require direct control by its Agent over the manipulated Agent
in the complement clause, and (b) manipulative non-implicative verbs
which allow direct or indirect control over the Agent in the comple-
ment. The Agent of the complement under direct control must be
present in direct object position in the main clause. The embedding is
separated from the main clause by a complementizer and the embed-
ded verb is marked for irrealis mood. Verbs which can imply direct
or indirect control take complements introduced by a complementizer
with irrealis marked verbs, but do not require the embedded
Agent/subject to function as the direct object of the main clause.
Schematically the verbs of control can be subcategorized as follows:

Verbs of control

Class 1: Implicative Verbs:


Examples: ayuda 'help,' na'para 'stop,' ataha 'prevent'
148 7. Complex sentence constructions

Syntactic characteristics: a. non-finite complement with


ergative infix -UM-
b. Agent of complement must serve as direct object of the
main clause.

C l a s s 2: Non-implicative Verbs:
Group 1: These verbs require direct control by the matrix
Agent over the complement Agent.
Examples: obligao 'oblige, compel,' afuetsas 'force,'
sangani 'tell'
Syntactic characteristics: a. complement takes finite
irrealis verb following a complementizer
b. Agent of complement must be direct object of the
main clause
Group 2: These verbs allow direct control by the m a t r i x Agent
over the complement Agent.

Examples: prohibt 'forbid,' malago'i 'want,' sedt


'allow', ekepekta 'expect'

Syntactic characteristics: a. complement takes finite


irrealis verb following a complementizer
b. Agent of complement m a y be direct object of the
main clause

1.1.8. Self-manipulation verbs. The facts concerning the selected com-


plement clause types under self-manipulation verbs are similar to
those described for manipulative verbs and require a similar explana-
tion. The self-manipulation verbs also fall into three categories. The
first category of self-manipulation verbs is restricted to taking only
-UM- type complements. Verbs which belong here include na'para
s
'stop,' na'possibili 'manage/succeed,' na'fonhayan
'finish/accomplish,' tutuhon 'start,' letke, eekapayi 'avoid,' hasso
4
'remember,' maleffa 'forget,' etc. Examples:
The ergative infix -UM- 149

(13) a. Ha- na 'possibili i asagua- hu


E.3s- manage the spouse- ls.POS
p-um- uno' i kukuracha.
E.I.- kill the cockroach
'My wife managed to kill the cockroach.'
b. *Ha- na'poseibili i aeagua-
E.3s- manage the spouse-
hu na/para u- puno'
Is.POS COMP IRR.3s- kill
5
t kukuracha.
the cockroach

(14) a.
a Ha- le-letke t asagua- hu
E.3s- RED-avoid the spouse- ls.POS
f-um- agasi t kareta-n- mami.
E.I.- wash the car- N- 1P1.POS
'My husband has been avoiding washing our car.'
b. *Ha- le-letke i aeagua- hu
E.3s- RED-avoid the spouse- IsPOS
na/para u- fagast t kareta-n- mami.
COMP IRR.3s-wash the car- N- 1P1.POS

a. Maleffa yo' mu- n a h a n a o


forget A.ls E.I.- CAUS- go
este t katta.
this the letter
forgot to send this letter.'
b. * Maleffa yo' na/para bathu- na'-
forget A.Is COMP IRR.ls- CAUS-
hanao este i katta.
go this the letter

Just like with the manipulative verbs, verbs of self-manipulation


which are restricted to taking only -UM- type complements, are all
implicative. Na'para 'stop,' eskapayi 'avoid,' letke 'avoid,' and
maleffa 'forget' are negative implicative, i.e., if it is true that X forgot
or avoided to do Y, then it necessarily follows t h a t Y was not
150 7. Complex sentence constructions

accomplished. Na'possibili 'manage/succeed,' tutuhon 'start,'


na'fonhayan 'finish,' and hasso 'remember' on the other hand are
positive implicative and the truth of the whole sentence logically
implies the truth of their complements. Non-implicative verbs again
fall into two categories. Syntactically they are distinguished in that
one class allows both constructions in which the verb takes the -UM-
infix and which are not separated from the main clause by a com-
plementizer, and constructions preceded by the complementizer with
the irrealis marking on the embedded verb, whereas the other
category allows only the latter type of complement.
Verbs like chagi 'try,' komfotme 'agree,' ma'ahao 'be afraid,'
renuneia 'refuse,' dieidi 'decide,' and malago' 'want' allow both con-
struction types.

(16) a. Hu- komfotme k-um- uentusi ma gas.


E.ls- agree E.I.- talk to
agreed to talk to the boss.'
Hu- komfotme para baihu- kuentusi
E.ls- agree COMP IRR.ls- talk to
i ma'gas.
the boss
agreed that I will talk to the boss.'

(17) Ti malago' aeapua- hu


NEG want the spouse- Is.POS
f-um- ahan ayu i niyok-siha.
E.I.- buy that the coconut-Pl
'My wife did not want to buy those coconuts.'
Ti malago' i asagua- hu
NEG want the wife- Is.POS
na u- fahan ayu i niyok-siha.
COMP IRR.3s-buy that the coconut-Pl
'My wife did not like to buy these coconuts.'

(18) Ma 'ahao t lahi- hu


afraid the son- Is.POS
The ergative infix -UM- 151

um- egga' este na mubi.


E.I.- watch this LINK movie
'My son is afraid to watch this movie.'
b. Ma'ahao i lahi- hu na
afraid the son- Is. POS COMP
u- tgga' este na mubi.
IRR.3s watch this LINK movie
'My son is afraid lest he should see
the movie.'

Verbs like angokko 'expect, trust' and ekspekta 'expect' belong to the
second subcategory. They do not allow the non-finite complement.
Compare (2) with (19) and (20) a with (20) b:

(19)* Ha- angongokko si Maria s-um-


E.3s- RED-expect UNM Maria E.I.-
odda' i asagua- ha gi gima'.
find the spouse- 3s.POS LOC house
'Maria was expecting to find her husband home.'

(20) a. Ha- ekspekta si Juan na


E.3s- expect UNM John COMP
u- hoksa i gima'.
IRR. 3s- build the house
'John expected to build the house.'
b. *Ha- ekspekta si Juan
E.3s- expect UNM John
h-um- okea i gima'.
E.I.- build the house

It is obvious one cannot invoke the measure of direct control by the


Agent of the main clause over the Agent of the complement clause to
explain the discrepancy observed in the above example. Yet, it is still
some sense of control of the Agent of the main clause over the state of
affairs in the embedded complement which plays a major role. The
semantics of the main verb 'expect' in (2) and (20) imply to some
152 7. Complex sentence constructions

degree that the completion of the event described in the proposition of


the complement is dependent on circumstances independent of the
will of the Agent of the main clause. The Agent has no control over
the event itself. The semantics of self-manipulation verbs which allow
both types of complements, such as 'want' in (17), 'agree' in (16) and
'be afraid of in (18) still allow for some control over the event in the
embedding. Yet, the suggested interpretations of these sentences
when taking just that complement type to which tkepekta and
angokko are restricted, provide some evidence that the explanation for
the discrepancy between the two subcategories of non-implicative
self-manipulation verbs on the basis of a semantic measurement of
control is correct. In (17) b. 'my wife' may not have had a choice if
there were no other coconuts available. Similarly, (18) b. implies
that my son is afraid he may find himself in a situation in which he is
forced to watch the movie he'd rather not see. Example (21) may
illustrate this point a bit more clearly. According to the native
speaker, who volunteered this particular set of sentences, (21) a. may
be used when the table is extremely heavy so that John may not be
able to lift it. (21) b. on the other hand is more appropriate when it
is assumed that John will be able to lift the object.

(21) a. Malago' si Juan na u-


want UNM John COMP IRR.3s-
hatea t lamasa,
lift the table
'John wanted to lift the table.'
b. Malago' si Juan h-um- atsa
want UNM John E.I.- lift
lamasa.
the table
'John wanted to lift the table.'

Since the successful completion of the event in the complement


clause is implied under the implicative verbs of self-manipulation, the
irrealis construction, which seems to be associated with a sense of
reduced control over the event expressed in the embedding, is not
The ergative infix -UM- 153

allowed in these instances. We can summarize the observations about


self-manipulation verbs in Chamorro in the following scheme:

Self-manipulation Verbs

Class 1: Implicative Verbs:


Examples: na'para 'stop,' na'poesibili 'manage,' na'fonhayan
'finish,' tutuhon 'start,' letke 'avoid,' haeso 'remember'
Syntactic characteristics: non-finite verb with ergative infix
-UM- in the complement clause, no complementizer

Class 2: Non-implicative Verbs:


Group 1: These verbs have an Agent which may have some
control over the event in the complement.
Examples: chagt 'try,' komfotme 'agree,' ma'ahao 'be
afraid,' renuneta 'refuse,' malago 'want'
Syntactic characteristics: either the -UM- type comple-
ment or one with a finite irrealis verb preceded by a
complementizer.
Group 2: The Agent of the verb in the main clause has no con-
trol over the event in the complement.
Examples: angokko 'expect,' ekapekta 'expect'
Syntactic characteristics: complement requires a finite
verb

1.1.4- The binding hierarchy. The observation that the selection of


the complement clause types in language is correlated with the
semantics of the verb under which these complements are embedded is
not new. Givon (1980a), on the basis of data from a number of non-
related languages, suggested that the restrictions which apply on the
syntactic types of complements of different verbs could be explained
on the basis of a notion called "binding." The semantic dimension of
binding operates on manipulative verbs, self-manipulation verbs, and
cognitive-utterance verbs (such as know, say,...). Givon showed that
154 7. Complex sentence constructions

one can hierarchize these verbs on a scale where the verbs on top of
the scale are semantically most binding, i.e., the Agent of the main
clause exerts a strong influence on the Agent of the complement
clause so that the latter is not entirely capable of acting indepen-
dently. Syntactically, the higher the main verb is ranked on the
scale, the less the complement clause will be coded as an independent
main clause. Semantically, the higher the main verb on the binding
hierarchy, the more likely the event in the complement is to take
effect and the stronger the influence exerted over the action in the
embedded clause by the Agent of the main verb.
The Chamorro data provide additional evidence for Givon's bind-
ing hierarchy. In addition, the language is a representative of the
Austronesian language family, which was not included in the sample
on which he based his typological analysis. The observations made
above in connection with manipulative and self-manipulation verbs
are part of a larger system which confirms Givon's "Hierarchy of
Binding." With respect to the manipulative verbs, it needs to be
added that there is one more class of implicative verbs which were not
included in the survey above. The English verbs make, have, cause,
and let have a Chamorro correlate in the form of a causative mor-
pheme which is prefixed to the verbal root of the intended comple-
ment.

(22) Ha- na'- kanno' et Juan


E.3s- CAUS- eat UNM John
si Maria ni mans ana.
UNM Maria OBL apple
'John made Mary eat the apple.'

The colexicalization exemplified in (22) 6 is predicted by Givon's bind-


ing hierarchy for those verbs ranking at the very top and is not an
isolated, language particular phenomenon for Chamorro. The embed-
ded clause is syntactically coded as integrated into the main clause
and loses all characteristics of an independent clause.
The ergative infix -UM- 155

The non-finite complement with the ergative infix -UM- correlates


with those verbs which rank the second highest on the hierarchy.
This particular type of complement codes verbs which axe implicative
and whose Agents have strong control over the state of affairs
described in the complement. Syntactically, the complement itself
does not have many characteristics of a main clause. The Agent of
the complement under manipulative verbs is pulled into the matrix to
serve the function of direct object. In addition, the Agent of the com-
plement is deleted under coreference with either the direct object (in
case of a manipulative verb) or the subject (in case of a self-
manipulative verb) of the matrix clause.
Non-implicative verbs are also coded through different types of
complements according to the semantics of these particular verbs.
Manipulative verbs fall into two categories. Both are coded by a
finite complement separated from the main clause by means of a com-
plementizer. However, the first category requires the Agent of the
complement to serve as direct object of the main clause, whereas the
second category of non-implicative manipulative verbs does not. The
semantic difference which corresponds to these two types of coding
devices correlates with the degree of control which the main clause
Agent has over the complement clause Agent. The use of comple-
ments whose Agents have not been pulled into the main clause to
serve as direct object implies that the main clause Agent only has
indirect control over the embedded proposition.
In a similar way, non-implicative self-manipulative verbs also fall
into two subcategories. The first category may take either the non-
finite complement with the ergative infix -UM-, or the finite comple-
ment marked for irrealis and introduced by a complementizer. The
second category only allows the latter type. Again this subcategoriza-
tion correlates with the degree of control the Agent of the main clause
has over the event in the complement. The use of the -UM- type
complement implies some degree of control whereas the use of the
finite verb in the complement does not.
Syntactically, the complements of non-implicative verbs whose
Agents do not have control over the state of affairs described in the
complement, look more like independent clauses, since they are
156 7. Complex sentence constructions

separated from the main clause and the embedded verb contains
(irrealis) subject agreement markers.
Finally we may add that in the case of cognition-utterance verbs
(such as tungo' 'know')--which we have not discussed in this chapter-
-the complement clause takes on more aspects of an independent main
clause. It is introduced by the complementizer na, and the verb is not
restricted to irrealis mood marking. Two examples have been given
in footnote 4. It may be of interest to add that in narrative discourse,
utterance verbs like 'say' and 'tell,' which rank lowest on Givon's
hierarchy of binding, often do not take sentential complements, but
are instead followed by pieces of direct discourse comprising of one or
more independent main clauses.
We can summarize all these observations as follows:

T y p e of predicate T y p e of coding

A. Implicative Verbs 1. co-lexicalization (causative


prefix na'-)
2. non-finite complement with
ergative infix -UM-
B . Non-implicative Verbs
a. self-manipulative
+control 3. non-finite complement with
ergative infix -UM- OR
finite irrealis complement
preceded by complementizer
-control 4. finite irrealis complement
preceded by complementizer
b. manipulative
+direct control 5. finite irrealis complement
preceded by complementizer
Agent of complement must be
direct object of matrix clause
The ergative infix -UM- 157

-direct control 6. finite irrealis complement


preceded by complementizer
Agent of complement need not
be direct object of matrix
C. Cognition and Utterance 7. finite complement preceded
by complementizer no
(not necessarily irrealis)
8. main independent clause
in direct quote discourse

1.2. Distribution of-UM- in other complex clauses

Besides some complement clauses (under the conditions described


above), there are a number of other constructions in which the
appearance of the ergative infix -UM- is obligatory (or highly pre-
ferred). These constructions range from emphatic or focus construc-
tions (which are best translated in English by a cleft or pseudo-cleft
construction), direct and indirect WH-questions, relative clauses and
sentences in which the subject/Agent is modified by a number of
indefinite quantifiers such as 'all,' 'many,' 'some,' 'none.' As we shall
see, the use of the ergative infix -UM- in these constructions and in
the sentential complements discussed above is governed by similar
syntactic, semantic and pragmatic constraints.

1.2.1. WH-questions, focus constructions, and relative clauses. The


link between relative clauses, WH-questions, and focus constructions
has been previously noted by a number of linguists and will therefore
be discussed in the same subsection. (See for example Harries-Delisle,
1978; Keenan and Hull, 1973; Schachter, 1973; Takizala, 1972; Dik,
1983; Chung, 1982; and for syntactic similarities between Chamorro
relative clauses and WH-questions see Lindner, 1977.)
When compared to the basic ergative clause type, these construc-
tions are clearly complex, not only syntactically, but also semanti-
158 7. Complex sentence constructions

cally and pragmatically. As a first example compare the following


sentences:

(23) a. Hu- li'e' i palao'an.


E.ls- see the woman
saw the woman.'
b. Guahu l-um- i'e' i palao 'an.
EMP.ls E.I.- see the woman
'It was I who saw the woman.'

(24) a. Ha- sakke i patgon t kareta.


E.3s- steal the child the car
'The child stole the car.'
b. I patgon s-um- akke i kareta.
the child E.I.- steal the car
'The child was the one who stole the car.'

(23) a. and (24) a. are examples of basic clauses which transmit new
information and adhere to the unmarked, basic VSO word order.
Both show ergative agreement on the transitive realis verb. The
emphatic constructions in the b. sentences are clearly complex.
Syntactically, they deviate from the unmarked basic word order
pattern in that the underlying subject does not appear adjacent to the
right of the predicate but has been extracted out of the clause, and
secondly, whereas one would have found the ergative agreement
marker in the unmarked realis clause, the ergative infix -UM- has
taken its place.
Semantically, the use of the infix -UM- in emphatic constructions
is restricted to propositions in which the Agent/subject has been
focussed. (See also Topping, 1975.) Compare:

(25) I palao'an l-um- i'e' i taotao.


the woman E.I.- see the man
'It was the woman who saw the man.'
The ergative infix -UM- 159

(26) I palao'an I-in- i'e'- ha


the woman NOM- see- 3s.POS
i taotao.
the man
'It was the woman that the man saw.'

The construction in (25) cannot be used to mean It was the woman


that the man saw. Instead, a nominalization must be used, as in (26),
if the Object is focussed. (See also below for alternative patterns to
this nominalization for Object emphatic constructions.)
Pragmatically, the b. clauses do not merely assert new informa-
tion, but are often used in answer to a question of the type Who did
X f . WH-questions like this, asking for the identity of the Agent in
the proposition are marked syntactically in the same way with the
ergative infix -UM- replacing the ergative agreement marker and can
also be syntactically characterized as having their underlying subject
yanked out of its normal postverbal position in the clause.

(27) Hayt l-um- i'e' t taotao f


who E.I.- see the man
'Who saw the m a n ? / W h o was the one
who saw the man?'

Both emphatic constructions and WH-questions which are marked


with the infix -UM- share the characteristic that the focus of attention
is directed towards the Agent in the proposition. The WH-question
asks for its identity, the focus construction emphatically gives it. The
rest of the clause is assumed to be familiar to the hearer. It is neces-
sary for a WH-question that the speaker assumes the hearer to share
the knowledge that Someone did X and moreover, the speaker
assumes that the hearer knows who that 'someone' is. Similarly, a
focus construction as in (26) can only be appropriate if the speaker
assumes that the hearer knows that someone saw the man, but that
the identity of the Agent is either not known to the hearer, or was
wrongfully assigned to someone else. In either case, prior knowledge
160 7. Complex sentence constructions

of the proposition with the exception of the identity of the Agent is


assumed on the part of both the speaker and the hearer.
As examples (28) - (30) show, the -UM- construction in WH-
questions (direct or indirect) is also restricted to clauses in which the
identity of the Agent is requested. A different clause pattern must be
used when other case roles are questioned.

(28) Hayi l-um- V yo'f


who E.I.- see A.Is
'Who saw me?
*Whom did I see?'

(29) a. Malago' yo' t-um- ungo' hayi


want A. Is E.I.- know who
k-um- astiga i patgon.
E.I.- punish the child
want to know who punished the child.
*I want to know whom the child punished.'
b. Malago' yo' hayi ha- kastiga
want A. Is who E.3s- punish
i patgon.
the child
want to know whom the child punished.
*I want to know who punished the child.'

(30) Hayi -um- angan enao?


who E.I.- say that
'Who said that?'

As (28) and (29) a. show, the -UM- construction can never be used to
question the Object. Whereas a nominalization using the nominaliz-
ing infix -IN- is preferred for such WH-questions, example (29) b.
shows that the unmarked ergative clause pattern is acceptable as well.
All questioned native speakers ruled out an interpretation in which
the identity of the Agent was requested in WH-questions employing
ergative agreement markers as in (29) b.
The ergative infix -UM- 161

Relative clauses in Chamorro are also similar syntactically,


semantically, and to a certain extent pragmatically to the two con-
struction types just described. The ergative infix -UM- is used in rela-
tive clauses under very much the same conditions as with WH-
questions and emphatic constructions. First of all, the Agent/subject
which functions as the head of the relative clause is extracted out of
the sentence so that it is not located in postverbal position anymore.
Secondly, the use of -UM- is again restricted to relative clauses in
which the extracted element is the Agent/subject of the proposition
coded as an -UM- construction. Relative clauses in which the head
fulfills a different semantic role, require different coding devices. (See
Chapter 3 and the section on nominalizations below.)

Ha- li'e' t taotao t patgon


E.3s- see the man the child
ni k-um- onne' t aga
REL E.I.- take the banana
'The man saw the child that took the banana.'

Hu- It'e' t palao 'an ni


E.ls- see the woman REL
p-um- anak t patgon.
E.I.- hit the child
saw the woman who hit the child.
*I saw the woman whom the child hit.'

Thirdly, relative clauses are used to help the hearer identify the refer-
ence of one of the participants in the proposition. 7 As such, the
speaker assumes that the hearer is familiar with the propositional con-
tent of the modifying clause.
However, noun phrases containing a relative clause as modifier are
usually part of a piece of new, asserted information. They cannot be
highly topical since highly topical referents are easily identifiable and
are referred to by much simpler devices such as 0-anaphora, pronouns,
or verb agreement. (See Givon, 1982.) This fact has been evidenced
in a number of languages (e.g., in Spanish, see Bentivoglio, 1983).
162 7. Complex sentence constructions

Thus, whereas the propositional content of the relative clause is


presupposed, assumed to be familiar to both the speaker and the
hearer, the NP itself is most often part of the focus of attention, the
new, foregrounded information in the sentence.
The presuppositional status of the relative clause is not always the
same as that of the WH-question or the emphatic construction. As
Schachter points out, there are relative clauses which modify non-
referential elements and whose propositional content, as a result, can-
not be presupposed. Example:

(33) I am looking for a man who has travelled faster


than the speed of light. (Schachter, 1973)

(33) does not contain the existential presupposition that someone has
travelled faster than the speed of light. However, this does not mean
that relative clauses modifying non-referential NP's (or even referen-
tial indefinites as in You will meet a man who will give you a newspa-
per) are not in some way pragmatically marked. The speaker still
wants the hearer to be able to identify the intended referent of the
modified NP or the class of elements to which the non-identified may
belong. Thus, even though the propositional content of the relative
clause is not presupposed, the speaker still assumes the hearer to be
familiar with it. To give one more example:

(34) I would like to eat a fish that has just been caught.

Even though in (34) there is no existing fish that has just been caught
with which the hearer is already supposedly familiar (through
discourse context), the speaker still assumes that the addressee could
possibly identify such a fish. Hence, the speaker assumes familiarity
with the propositional content on the part of the hearer based on
prior discourse context or on general knowledge of the world.
There axe two plausible explanations for the use of the special,
marked -UM- construction in the three Chamorro clause types
exemplified above. First of all, synchronically since the basic word
order pattern is disturbed and since subjects and objects coded as full
The ergative infix -UM- 163

NP's are not distinct from one another morphologically, ambiguity


may arise as to which NP is functionally the Agent/subject of the
-UM- clause, or, in other words, as to what the function is of the
extracted NP. For most speakers, the relative position of the argu-
ments with respect to the verb and to each other in clauses like (35)
provides ample indication as to the intended interpretation of that
clause.

(35) Ha- li'e' si Juan t patgon.


E.3s- see UNM John the child
'John saw the child.'

A VOS word order pattern is possible when the Object is pronominal.


Morphologically the form of the pronominal direct object is sufficient
to indicate its syntactic function in the clause. If on the other hand
the function of the two arguments of the verb is only indicated
through their relative position, as is the case with full NP's, disturb-
ing the normal word order pattern also disturbs the identification of
their function in the clause. The use of ergative agreement in a sen-
tence like (36) can only result in an ambiguous sentence.

V.Kao tm- li'e' t taotao


Q. E.2s- see the man
ni ha- tungo' i patgon
REL E.3s- know the child
a. 'Did you see the man who knows the child?'
b. 'Did you see the man whom the child knows?'

As it turns out the b. interpretation is more acceptable than the a.


interpretation, which may point to the fact that speakers normally
assign subject function to the first full N P immediately following the
verb. Whereas speakers can conceive of sentences like (36), they
prefer to disambiguate them using the ergative infix -UM- when the
head of the relative clause is the subject/Agent of the clause and a
passive or nominalization with the infix -IN- when the extracted NP
164 7. Complex sentence constructions

is functionally the direct object of the relative clause. (See also


Lindner, 1977; Chung, 1982.) Examples:

a. Kao un- It'e' t taotao


Q E.2s- see the man
nt t-um- ungo' i patgon.
REL E.I.- know the child
'Did you see the man who knows the child?1
b. Kao un- li'e' t taotao
Q E.2s- see the man
nt t-in- ingo' nt patgon.
REL PAS- know OBL child
'Did you see the man the child knows?'

The arguments given for relative clauses equally apply to WH-


questions. However, in focus constructions the replacement of -UM-
with normal ergative agreement markers results in an SVO construc-
tion which is not emphatic as in (38) b.:

(38) a. St Taga' p-um- uno' i


UNM Taga' E.I.- kill the
lahi- ha.
son- 3s.POS
'It was Taga' who killed his son.'
b. Si Taga' ha- puno' i
UNM Taga' E.3s- kill the
lahi- ha.
son- 3s.POS
'Taga' killed his son.'

The pragmatic difference between VSO and SVO patterns in narrative


discourse will be investigated in more detail in the next chapter.
It is interesting to note, however, that ergative agreement in a
relative clause becomes more acceptable to many native speakers
when the direct object of the transitive clause is inanimate as in (39):
The ergative infix -UM- 165

Hu- tungo' t taotao nt


E.ls- know the man REL
d-um- t ngo t tano - ta.
E.I.- leave the land- 1P1.POS
know the man who left our country.'
Hu- tungo' t taotao nt
E.ls- know the man REL
ha- dingo t tano - ta.
E.3s- leave the land- 1P1.POS
know the man who left our country.'

Even though (39) a. is preferred over (39) b., the latter is still accept-
able to most speakers of Chamorro. The reason for this may be prag-
matic or based on knowledge of the world. Since the only possible
interpretation for this sentence is for the man to leave the country
and not the other way around, the use of the ergative agreement
marker is not confusing and the need for disambiguation not as press-
ing as in clauses like (35).
A second explanation for the use of the ergative infix -UM- in
complex constructions is diachronic in nature and reflects the princi-
ple of "syntactic conservatism" proposed by Givon (1979c, 83-86).
Givon observed that in many languages older syntactic patterns tend
to be preserved in constructions which are pragmatically more marked
than the basic clause which is affirmative, main, active, and declara-
tive. The -UM- construction in Chamorro in which the ergative infix
replaces the ergative agreement markers of the basic clause type is
more than likely an older syntactic pattern, reminiscent of the so-
called "actor-focus" constructions found in many of the Philippine
languages (e.g., Tagalog, see Schachter, 1976, Topping, 1973, among
others) and occurs obligatorily in pragmatically highly marked con-
structions such as Actor relative clauses, WH-questions, and focus
constructions. As the name used for this construction in Philippine
languages suggests, it is intimately correlated with the semantic role
of Agent. Similarly, the -UM- construction in Chamorro is closely
tied to the semantic role of Agent and can only be used to mark con-
structions in which the Agent has been extracted out of the clause.
166 7. Complex sentence constructions

This is not only true for relative clauses, WH-questions and focus con-
structions, but also for the complement clauses discussed in the first
section of this chapter and the constructions involving an NP
modified by an indefinite quantifier (see below).

1.2.2. Indefinite quantified NP'S. The fifth and last construction in


Chamorro which is marked with the ergative infix -UM- contains an
NP modified by one of the following indefinite quantifiers: guaha,
'some'; taya' 'none'; todu 'all, every'; bula, meggat, 'many.' Exam-
ples:

(40) Taya' t-um- ungo' hafa


none E.I.- know what
sam- papa'- ha.
DIR- below- 3s.POS
' Noone knows what lies beneath it (:=the house).' (1;9)

(41) Guaha um- t- ipe' i manha.


some E.I.- RED-cut the green coconut
'Someone was cutting the green coconuts.' (24;15)

(42) Bula na lalahi- siha


many LINK men- PL
f-um- a- faisen si Roea.
E.I.- RED- ask UNM Rosa
'Many men were asking Rosa out.' (30;74)

(43) I higante, todoB hit t-um-


the giant all A.lPl E.I.-
ungo' na dankolo na taotao.
know COMP big LINK man
'The giant, we all know that it is a big man.' (58; 13-14)

Again, the clauses in (40) through (43) are syntactically marked in


that the ergative infix -UM- obligatorily replaces the ergative agree-
ment markers and the Agent of the resulting -UM- clause is not
located to the immediate right of the predicate. Semantically, the
The ergative infix -UM- 167

infixation of -UM- in the predicate is restricted to those clauses in


which it is the Agent/subject which has been modified by one of the
indefinite quantifiers. Quantified Objects require a different syntactic
device such as a nominalization with the nominalizing infix -IN- or a
passive construction. Example:

(44) Taya' ch-in- ilele'- ha.


nothing NOM- RED-bring- 3s.POS
'She hadn't brought anything.'

The indefinite quantifiers function as predicates in Chamorro. They


are placed in initial position in the clause, the normal position of the
verbal predicate in the language. Thus, even though the normal word
order pattern of VSO is deviated from in the -UM- construction itself,
since the Agent/subject has been extracted out of the clause to
become the main predicate, the whole sentence itself adheres to the
expected pattern. In this sense, Chamorro grammar seems to corro-
borate the theory proposed by generative semanticists in the 70's (see
for example Lakoff, 1971), that quantifiers are semantically higher
predicates. In fact, both guaha and taya' are used as existential predi-
cates in Chamorro, the former a positive existential, the latter its
negation. Examples:

(45) Taya' nt unu t-um- ungo' kao guaha


noone at all E.I.- know Q have/be
si rat haga- ha.
UNM king daughter- 3s.POS
'There was no one at all who knew the king
had a daughter.' (139;5)

(46) Guaha un peskadot na'an- ha


be a fisherman name- 3s.POS
ei Orasima.
UNM Orasima
'There was a fisherman named Orasima.' (S.l;2)
168 7. Complex sentence constructions

Hu- tungo' na yanggen ch-in iget


E.ls- know COMP if PAS-run
t katu siempre iridao pot
the cat certainly wounded or
sino matai lao taya'.
else dead but nothing
knew that if the cat had been run over
(by the car) it certainly had to be wounded
or dead, but there was nothing.' (186;213-214)

In (45) and (46) guaha functions clearly as a positive existential predi-


cate, whereas taya' in (47) functions as a negative existential.
Semantically, it is not hard to see why quantifiers such as 'all,'
'none,' 'many,' and 'some' should be treated as higher predicates. If
the -UM- construction is interpreted as providing a characteristic
which can be assigned to a set of elements, then the quantified NP's
provide the delimitation of the set to which this characteristic applies.
T h a t is, the complete extent of the set characterized by the proposi-
tional content of the -UM- clause is given through the quantifiers.
This semantic analysis also explains why definite, numeric quantifiers
are not treated as predicates.

(48) Ha- dalak i dos na


. 3s- follow the two LINK
famagu'on i paiao'an.
children the woman
'The two children followed the woman.'

A normal assertion like (48) does not necessarily exclude other indivi-
duals from participating in the same activity of following the woman.
The addition of the adverb 'also' makes this even clearer. The two
children also followed the woman may mean that in addition to other
people the two children followed the woman, or that in addition to
doing something else the children followed the woman. In contrast,
adding the same adverb to a clause like many people also followed the
woman cannot mean that in addition to others, many people followed
The ergative infix -UM- 169

the woman. The latter sentence may be interpreted as an event t h a t


occurred in addition to some other event(s). In either case the extent
of the individuals or referents to which the characteristic, given in the
-UM- construction, applies is fully specified.
With the exception of clauses in which the Agent/subject is
modified by the quantifier taya' there areas far as I can tellno spe-
cial pragmatic constraints which may be responsible for the use of the
ergative infix -UM- in constructions with indefinite quantifiers.
Clauses containing taya' are pragmatically marked like all other nega-
tive statements. For example, for sentence (49) to be felicitous, the
speaker probably assumes t h a t the hearer thought t h a t there was at
least someone who believed t h a t T a g a ' (a folk hero on the Mariana
Islands) is alive at this moment:

(49) Taya' h-um- ongge' na lala'la'


none E.I.- believe COMP alive
et Taga'.
UNM Taga'
'No one believes t h a t T a g a ' is alive.'

These kind of assumptions on the part of the speaker are shared not
with other clauses in which the Agent/subject is modified by an
indefinite quantifier, but with other negative clauses. All negations
assume some prior acquaintance with the affirmative of the proposi-
tion. (See also Givon, 1979a, 103-105.)

l.S. General characteristics of the ergative -UM- construction

Three types of constraints will be dealt with: (a) syntactic, (b) seman-
tic, and (c) pragmatic.

1.8.1. Syntactic constraints. I have pointed out a number of times


t h a t the use of the ergative infix -UM- is restricted to syntactically
transitive clauses in the realis mood. T h e -UM- construction is
characterized by two major syntactic constraints. First of all, in each
170 7. Complex sentence constructions

-UM- construction a major argument of the verb is extracted out of


the clause, and secondly, that argument must be the subject of the
-UM- construction. The extracted element itself can take on a variety
of syntactic functions ranging in the instance of complements from
direct object in the main clause under manipulative verbs or subject
of the main clause under self-manipulation verbs, to predicate of the
sentence in WH-questions, focus constructions and clauses involving
modification by indefinite quantifiers. In the case of relative clauses,
the extracted element which is the head of the relative clause can
function as subject, direct object or any other syntactic role in the
higher clause. Thus, in each -UM- construction the basic word order
pattern VSO is deviated from in that the subject slot immediately fol-
lowing the verb is not filled.

1.8.2. Semantic constraints. The semantic condition which applies to


the ergative -UM- construction is linked to the fact that the -UM-
infix is a truly ergative infix, i.e. the -UM- indicates not only that the
subject has been extracted from the sentence, but the marker more-
over is restricted to the coding of Agent/subjects of syntactically
transitive sentences. Thus the construction is unacceptable when
non-agentive subjects have been extracted out of the clause, e.g., sub-
jects of passive constructions which are semantically transitive. (See
examples (50) b. and (51) b. and c.)

(50) a. Hayi l-um- i't' si Juan?


who E.I.- see UNM John
'Who saw John?'
b. *Hayi l-um- i'e' as Juan?
who E.I.- see OBL John
'Who was seen by John?'
T h e ergative infix -L'M- 171

(51) a. Hu- tungo' i taotao nt


E.ls- know the man REL
p-um- uno' i aeagua- ha.
E.I.- kill the spouse- 3s.POS
know the m a n who killed his wife.'
b. *Hu- tungo' i taotao nt
E.ls- know the man REL
p-um- uno' nt asagua- ha.
E.I.- kill OBL spouse- 3s.POS
know the man who was killed by his wife.'
c. Hu- tungo' i taotao nt
E.ls- know the man REL
p-in- ino' nt aeagua- ha.
PAS- kill OBL spouse- 3s. P O S
know the m a n who was killed by his wife.'

In addition the ergative infix -UM- is equally unacceptable when


agentive non-subjects are involved as the following examples with
complements show.

(52) a. Man- mamahlao i famagu'on


PI- embarrassed the children
b-um- teita i tio- n-
E.I.- visit the uncle-N-
hiha.
3P1.POS
' T h e children are embarrassed to visit their uncle.'
b. Man- mamahlao i famagu'on
Pl- embarrassed the children
na uma- bisita t
COMP IRR.3PL- visit the
tio- n- niha.
uncle-N- 3P1.POS
' T h e children are embarrassed to visit their uncle.'
172 7. Complex sentence constructions

(53) a. Mamahlao i patgon un-


embarrassed the child IRR.2s-
f-in- a'nu'i nu i
PAS-show OBL the
p-in- enta- na.
NOM- paint- 3s.POS
'The child is embarrassed to show you his picture.'
b. * Mamahlao i patgon f-um- a'nu'i
embarrassed the child E.I.- show
hao nu pinenta- ha.
A.2s OBL the painting- 3s.POS

As (52) a. and b. show, the verb mamahlao 'be embarrassed' is a self-


manipulation verb allowing both the complement with -UM- and the
finite irrealis complement. In (53) however, due to some constraints
involving the obligatory use of the passive instead of an active con-
struction (see Chapter 5), it is the Object which has taken up subject
position in the complement clause and as a result the use of -UM- is
not allowed.
Besides the restriction to coding extracted Agentive subjects, there
is an additional semantic characteristic which all five constructions
share. I noted earlier that linguists have observed the similarity
between emphatic constructions, WH-questions and relative clauses.
Keenan and Hull (1973) and Schachter (1973) (among others)
observed that they did not only have syntactically similar patterns,
they are also logically or semantically similar. This similarity can be
captured through logical representations such as the following:

(54) F O C (NP, x, S)

(54) is the logical representation of a focus construction. The logical


or semantic representation of a sentence like It was Fred who invited
Mary would look like this:

(55) F O C (Fred, x, [Mary, y], [invite x, y])


The ergative infix -UM- 173

As Keenan and Hull (1973) formulate it, each semantic representation


has a condition in the form of an S which is imposed on the NP
separated from it. I have suggested a similar analysis for construc-
tions involving indefinite quantified NP's using different terminology.
The -UM- construction can be seen semantically as providing a
characteristic which can be assigned to a certain set of elements or
referents. The extracted NP then provides the delimitation of the set
to which this characteristic applies. In the case of Agent/subjects
modified by the quantifiers all, many, some and none the extent of the
set is entirely specified. But this analysis works also for WH-
questions, focus constructions, relative clauses and even complements.
In the case of WH-questions the speaker requests information on the
identity of the referent(s) to which the characteristic specified in the
-UM- part of the sentence applies. Any other referent is excluded
from his interest. Similarly in focus constructions, the identity of the
referent which answers the description given in the -UM- clause is
emphasized (either in contrast with another referent to which
membership to the set characterized in the -UM- construction was
assigned, or because the hearer requested the given information). In
restrictive relative clauses also, the speaker adds the information
given in the relative clause marked by the ergative infix -UM- in order
to help the hearer identify this particular referent. Relative clauses
are most often used in order to pick out one particular referent out of
a number of possibly eligible ones in the discourse context, by provid-
ing an additional characteristic which only applies to the intended
referent such that precise identification by the hearer is possible. In
complement clauses the use of the ergative infix -UM- implied the
truth of the propositional content of the complement. Hence the
semantic constraint just described applies here as well. The ergative
infix can only be used to indicate that the extracted element can be
characterized as having the specifications set out in the -UM- con-
struction.

Ha- tutuhon si Juan


E.3s- start UNM John
174 7. Complex sentence constructions

k-um- anno mansana.


E.I.- eat the apple
'John started eating the apple.'

(57) a. Ha- eangan- st Juan


E.3s- tell- PRM UNM John
si Maria na u- kanno'
UNM Mary COMP IRR.3s- eat
i maneana.
the apple
'John told Mary to eat the apple.'
b. * Ha- sangan- i si Juan
Eg. 3s- tell- PRM UNM John
si Maria k-um- anno' i maneana.
UNM Mary E.I.- eat the apple

In (56) the characteristic of eating the apple is understood to apply to


John but in (57) it does not necessarily apply to Mary.
Summarized then, the ergative -UM- construction in Chamorro
can be semantically characterized in two ways. First of all, it is used
to code Agents only which are extracted out of the clause. Secondly,
they describe an event or a state of affairs which counts as a charac-
teristic of the extracted Agent referent.

l.S.S. Pragmatic constraints. The five environments in which the


ergative infix -UM- is used are not only syntactically and semantically
marked, they also involve marked assumptions on the part of the
speaker which we do not find in basic assertions.
In the case of emphatic constructions, restrictive relative clauses
and WH-questions the proposition in the -UM- clause is not really
part of the new information imparted to the hearer, rather the propo-
sition is presupposed, i.e., both speaker and hearer are supposed to be
familiar with its semantic contents.
In the case of complement clauses, the proposition in the comple-
ment clause is always part of the new information transmitted to the
audience. The speaker does not make any assumptions about the
The ergative infix -UM- 175

hearer's familiarity with the state of affairs described in the sentential


complement. However, the -UM- construction is pragmatically
marked in that the speaker commits himself to the truth (or un-truth
in case of negative implicative predicates) of the proposition in the
embedding. This commitment on the speaker's part is especially clear
in the case of some non-implicative verbs of self-manipulation where
(s)he has a choice between using the non-finite complement type with
the ergative infix -UM- or the finite complement marked for irrealis.
In the latter case, the question of whether the state of affairs in the
embedding will obtain or not is explicitly left open.
It is the case then that constructions which make use of the erga-
tive infix -UM- are all pragmatically more marked than the basic sen-
tence type which takes on normal ergative agreement markers when
realis. As pointed out previously, constructions involving indefinite
quantified Agent/subjects do not seem to be pragmatically more
marked, but have all the other semantic and syntactic constraints
described in the two previous sections in common with the WH-
questions, relative clauses, focus constructions and complement
clauses.
Given that in general, ergative -UM- constructions are more prag-
matically marked than the basic sentence in Chamorro, the question
still remains why other pragmatically marked constructions are not
coded in the same way. To give just one example, why is it t h a t
negative clauses which share the existential presuppositions with
WH-questions and focus constructions, cannot be marked with the
ergative infix -UM-?

(61) Ti ha- hungok si Juan


neg E.3s- hear UNM John
este i buruka.
this the loud noise
'John didn't hear this loud noise.'

The information transmitted in (61) is t h a t John didn't hear the


noise. The focus of the new information is on the content of the
predicate and not on the identity of the Agent. If the speaker
176 7. Complex sentence constructions

intended to negate the involvement of the Agent/subject in the pro-


position instead of the predicate, an emphatic construction would
have to be used as in (62).

(62) Tt si Juan h-um- ungok


neg UNM John E.I.- hear
este i buruka.
this the loud noise
'It wasn't John who heard the loud noise.'

In (61) the new information does not include the identity of the
Agent/subject, but rather the negation of the predicate. The new
information or focus in sentence (62) involves the identity of the
Agent/subject whereas the content of the predicate remains in the
background. Again, the close relation between the ergative infix
-UM- and the Agent/subject is exhibited. These two examples illus-
trate t h a t the -UM- construction cannot be characterized by the prag-
matic constraint alone, but must also be seen in terms of the other
two constraints discussed earlier.

2. N o m i n a l i z a t i o n s

The treatment of nominalizations in Chamorro coding semantically


transitive propositions runs parallel to the treatment of the ergative
-UM- construction and can therefore remain fairly short. Nominaliza-
tions, just like the construction with the ergative infix -UM-, occur in
very much the same syntactic environments and share some basic
characteristics.
There are two sorts of nominalizations to be discussed here; (a)
nominalizations involving the nominalizing infix -IN- and (b) what I
have called bare nominalizations. With the exception of comple-
ments, nominalizations occur in all the types of complex clauses to
which the ergative -UM- construction is restricted. The major
difference between the two types of nominalizations is syntactico-
semantic in nature. Nominalizations involving the nominalizing infix
Nominalizations 177

-IN- are restricted to the syntactic case role of direct object which gen-
erally overlaps with the semantic role of Object (Patient or Dative, as
defined in the introductory chapter of this manuscript), whereas the
bare nominalization is used for any kind of oblique case such as
instruments, comitatives, oblique objects of intransitive verbs with
transitive meaning, etc. (See also Chung, 1982; Lindner, 1979.)
Syntactically, both coding devices are used when an element is
extracted out of the sentence. In the case of the nominalization with
the infix -IN-, the syntactic function of this item is the direct object.
This direct object may be the result of a promotional process (indi-
cated on the verb by means of the promotional suffix -) or it may be
a demoted direct object. (See also Chung, 1982.)

Ha- fahan it Juan t


E.3s- buy UNM John the
kareta para guahu.
car for EMP.ls
'John bought the car for me.'
Ha- fahan- t yo' tt
E.Ss- buy- PRM A.Is UNM
Juan t kareta.
John the car
'John bought me the car.'
Hafa f-in- ahan- i- ha
what NOM- buy- PRM- 3s.POS
hao et Juanf
A.2s UNM John
'What did John buy you?'
Hu- tungo' t lahi hayt
E.ls- know the man who
f-in- ahan- - ha et
NOM- buy- PRM- 3s.POS UNM
Juan t kareta.
John the car
know the man John bought the car for.'
178 7. Complex sentence constructions

In (63) c. the extracted referent functions syntactically as an oblique


object, but functioned previously as the direct object of the clause
before Dative Movement had applied, marked on the verb by means
of the promotional suffix -i (compare with [63] a.). In d. the head of
the relative clause is the direct object of the -IN- nominalization, but
it is a derived direct object through Dative movement. (Compare
with [63] a. and b.).
In the case of the bare nominalization the syntactic function is
that of an oblique NP. In (64) this oblique NP is the instrument, in
(65) it functions as the complement of an intransitive stative verb:

(64) a. Hafa utot- mu ni pan?


what cut- 2s.POS OBL bread
'What did you cut the bread with?'
b. Hu- utot i pan ni ee'si.
E.ls- cut the bread OBL knife
cut the bread with a knife.'

(65) a. I ga'lagu ma'a'hao- ha i patgon.


the dog afraid- 3s.POS the child
'It's the dog the child is afraid of.'
b. Ma'a'hao i patgon ni ga'lagu.
afraid the child OBL dog
'The child is scared of the dog.'

Semantically, the propositional content of nominalizations


described here provides a characteristic which applies to the extracted
element in exactly the same way as the -UM- construction did for the
extracted Agent/subject. The nominalization in the relative clause is
necessary to provide the hearer with additional specifications to
enable him to identify the intended referent. The nominalization in a
WH-questions gives the characterization of the referent whose identity
is requested, whereas in an emphatic construction it asserts that the
emphasized referent answers the description given in the nominaliza-
tion which is already familiar to both speaker and hearer from the
previous discourse context. NP's quantified by the Chamorro
Nominalizations 179

equivalents to all, many, some and none give the entire range of ele-
ments to which the characterization given in the nominalization
applies. The preposing of direct objects modified by these quantifiers
is not always obligatory. Modification by all and many allows the
regular ergative clause pattern as well. However, modification with
some and none requires the extraction of the modified NP to pre-
clausal position:

(66) a. Todu t-in- ingo'- ha.


all NOM- know- 3s.POS
'She knew everything.'
b. Ha- tungo' todu.
E.3s- know all
'She knew everything.'

(67) a. Taya' I-in- tV- ha.


none NOM- see- 3s.POS
'She had seen nothing.'
b. *Ha- li'e' taya'.
E.3s- see none

The fact that the ergative clause pattern is not allowed for taya' and
guaha is probably due to the fact that these morphemes are really
predicates in the Chamorro language and should therefore be placed
in predicate position in the clause.
As with the ergative -UM- constructions, the propositional content
of the nominalizations, both with and without the nominalizing infix
-IN-, is pragmatically assumed to be familiar to both hearer and
speaker. Again, this does not apply to the clauses involving the set of
quantifiers which often induce the appearance of such nominaliza-
tions.
180 7. Complex sentence constructions

Notes

1. The following discussion is limited to transitive complements.


Intransitive complements follow the same patterns as transitive
ones with the exception that the use of the ergative infix -UM- is
restricted to transitive complements only. Normal realis agree-
ment markers are maintained in the intransitive complements
where -UM- is expected for transitive complements. These com-
plements are also not separated from the main clause by a com-
plementizer.

2. As far as I can tell, there seems to be a difference between the


choice of the complementizers na and para, which is essentially a
marker for irrealis. With some verbs one is sometimes preferred
over the other. The reasons behind this preference are not clear to
me and I will treat both morphemes alike in the remainder of this
chapter.
3. A number of verbs belonging to this category are morphologically
complex, i.e., they consist of a prefix na' which is the causative
prefix in Chamorro. (See Chapter 3.) Thus na'poesibili, for
instance means 'make possible.'
4. Both haseo, 'remember' and maleffa, 'forget' are also verbs of cog-
nition. When they function as such, they can take on comple-
ments introduced by the complementizer na, but in these instances
the Agent/subject of the embedded complement is not controlled
by the Agent of the main clause. Examples:

a. Maleffa yo' na baihu- na}-


forget A. Is COMP IRR. Is- CAUS-
hanao este na katta.
go this LINK letter
forgot that I was going to send this letter.'

b. Hu- hasso na ha- dingu


E.3s- remember COMP . 3s- leave
Notes 181

t che 'lu- hu i tano'.


the sibling- Is.POS the country
remember that my sister had left the country.'

Sentence (13) b. could be grammatical in a context where there is


a direct object in the clause coded by O-anaphora. The interpreta-
tion then would be that my wife made it possible for him/her to
kill the cockroach ('her' cannot refer to 'my wife' in this instance).

The direct object of the underlying embedded clause becomes an


oblique N P in the surface construction, indicated by the oblique
case marker ni. The subject of the embedded clause becomes the
direct object of the main clause as a result of the colexicalization
of the main and embedded clauses. See Gibson (1981) for a
detailed analysis of causative constructions in Chamorro.

I have limited the discussion of relative clauses to restrictive rela-


tive clauses only. I have no examples of non-restrictive relative
clauses in the d a t a I collected during my stay on Saipan. As in
most languages, these clauses follow the same syntactic patterns of
restrictive relative clauses even though the pragmatic constraints
controlling their occurrence are very different. (See Thompson,
1971.)
Chapter Eight

Discourse organization and paragraph thematicity

In Chapters 3 through 5 many of the predictions about the occurrence


of different syntactic coding devices for transitive propositions were
based on the degree of topicality of the participants in the proposi-
tions making up the narrative discourse. In the present chapter I will
direct my attention to two separate phenomena in Chamorro syntax
which are equally dependent on the organization of the discourse, but
which cannot be accounted for by means of the quantitative method.
The first section of this chapter deals with examples of construc-
tions which go against the predictions made in Chapter 5 on the basis
of the quantitative method. Two sets of these apparent counterexam-
ples will be discussed: (a) those constructions which do not conform
to the general rule of topicality, and (b) those which go against the
rule of topic-shift (see Chapter 5, section 4.1). Even though these
examples cannot be explained in terms of topicality, their occurrence
in the narrative reflects a higher discourse organizational principle,
i.e., that of paragraph thematicity, which overrides the predictions of
the clause level principle of topicality.
In the second major section, I will compare the two major word
order patterns found in Chamorro discourse, i.e., VSO and SVO.
Even though it has been suggestedon the basis of evidence from
other languages (e.g., Ute [Givon, 1983a], and Spanish [Bentivoglio,
1983])that subjects in preverbal position correlate with topic-
discontinuity and subjects in postverbal position mark highly continu-
ous referents, these predictions are not substantiated in the Chamorro
narratives. Rather, there is evidence that word order in Chamorro
can be explained in terms of thematic continuity, since both word
order patterns correlate with different positions in the thematic para-
graph. There is a strong tendency for the preposing of the subject to
code a break in thematic continuity, coming either at the beginning of
a new paragraph or at a paragraph break in the middle of one.
Thematicity and subject coding 183

The two phenomena, briefly described above, suggest then that


even though thematic continuity is not as clearly defined and opera-
tionally explicit as topic continuity (see Chapter 2) and not as
strongly coded in discourse (see Givon, 1983b), it nevertheless plays
an important role in the syntactic coding of propositions in Chamorro
discourse.

1. Thematicity and subject coding

In Chapter 5 two separate rules were given which predict the


occurrence of passive and active clause types in Chamorro discourse.
The general rule stated that the participant with the highest degree of
topicality in the proposition will be coded as subject. Thus an active
clause will be used to code a semantically transitive proposition just
in case the Agent is higher in topic continuity than the Object and
conversely, a passive construction must be used when the Object is
higher in topicality than the Agent. A second rule, involving a par-
ticular type of "topic-shift," predicted the use of the passive in case
both participants were numerically equal in topicality but the Object
of the new clause fulfilled the semantic role of Agent in the previous
proposition, making it more topical in Chamorro narratives. These
two rules account for the majority of passive and active constructions
in the narratives which provided the data base for this manuscript.
However, reference was made in Chapter 5 to a number of clauses
which did not conform to either of the rules just described. Whereas
these two rules rely on information on the clausal level, i.e., taking
into account the referential identity of the major participants or their
semantic role in the proposition, a number of these counterexamples
can be explained on the basis of thematic organization at the higher
discourse level of the paragraph. Both sets of counterexamples to the
two rules just described will be discussed in the next two subsections.
184 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

1.1. Thematicity and the general rule of topicality

In the data 34 examples of active transitive clauses (ergative or


irrealis) were found whereaccording to the rule of topicalitya pas-
sive would be expected. That is, in the immediate discourse environ-
ment the Object was numerically higher in topicality than the Agent.
In addition, the data provided 8 instances of IN-passives and 1 MA-
passive instead of the expected ergative construction.
On closer inspection of these 43 clauses, 5 classes of counterexam-
ples to the general rule of topicality can be discerned.
1. The first class has already been discussed in Chapter 5 and does
not involve the notion of thematicity. No inanimate NP can
become the syntactic subject of the clause when the second major
participant is animate. This constraint takes care of 21 ergative
clauses and 3 IN-passives which do not conform to the general
prediction.
2. The second major category covers 7 examples of ergatives, 2
examples of IN-passives and 1 MA-passive. In these cases, the
general rule of topicality, i.e., that the numerically highest topical
element must be selected as syntactic subject, is overruled by a
higher principle of organization which selects the paragraph theme
or sometimes even the thematic participant at the story level as
syntactic subject. In most cases, this occurs after a break in the
paragraph where for a short time the thematic continuity is inter-
rupted, e.g., after a digression (such as a description, etc.) or after
a number of background clauses which do not add any important
information to the general story line (e.g., conditionals, because-
clauses, adverbial clauses of time, etc). The new sentence in which
the apparent violation against the general rule occurs, actually
picks up the story line again, returning to the theme of the para-
graph. As an illustration, I have selected the following part of a
paragraph:
Thematicity and subject coding 185

(1) Put ti malago' t


then NEG want the
rat Tinian na u-
king Tinian COMP IRR.3s
huyong ta' taddong.
out because deep
'Then the Tinian king did not want to go
out there ( =into the ocean) because it
was too deep.'
Pue$ et Taga' miemo
so UNM Taga' self
t-um- unnok ya
SING- go down and
'So Taga' himself went down'
ha- ehule' t talaya.
E.Ss- take the net
'and fetched the net.'
Ptiru man- dankolo na
all Pl- big LINK
gtithan ayu t tick-
fish that the say-
hiha po'aang ma- fa 'nana 'an,
3P1.POS PAS- call
'It was full with big fish, those which
they say were called "po'sang,"'
ayu i pa'go na
that the now LINK
titmpo ilek- hiha mangaro'.
time say- 3P1.POS "mangaro'"
'those which they nowadays call "mangaro'".'
Putt ayugut - eiha ha-
so that- PI E.3s-
knne' ei Taga' halom.
take UNM Taga' inside
'So those Taga' brought on land.' (118-117;119-
186 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

In (1) a. the king of Tinian is still the main topic. In (1) b. it


shifts to Taga', who remains the highest topic in (1) c. as well. In
(1) d. and e. the topic is the fish and the same referent is contin-
ued through to (1) f. where Taga' also reappears as a participant
in the proposition. Since the referential distance for fith in (1) f. is
only 1 and for Taga * it is 4, one would expect, according to the
general rule that an IN-passive should be used marking the
Object, i.e., the fish, as syntactic subject or highest topic in the
clause. However, the description of the net and the fish is only
incidental and provides only background information to the para-
graph which deals with the heroic feats of Taga' as opposed to the
cowardly behavior of the Tinian king. What matters is not what
Taga' goes out to get in the water, but that he actually does it as
opposed to the king who remains ashore. Thus the choice of
highest topic in this clause is not justifiable by numeric counts on
the clausal level, but on the basis of a higher discourse organizing
principle on the level of the paragraph, where only participants of
foregrounded clauses are viable candidates for the status of para-
graph theme.

3. A third category of examples which does not comply with the gen-
eral rule of topicality comprises two ergative clauses. Again, it is
the thematic unity of the paragraph which is the deciding factor
as to which of the participants is chosen as syntactic subject in the
clause. The two clauses which make up this class each close off a
paragraph, repeating the main point or main event in the para-
graph. Again, the Agents in these clauses are not higher in degree
of topicality than the Object, but they are more important at the
level of the paragraph, providing thematic continuity. Both
clauses are introduced by an adverb puts, 'so, thus, then.' Exam-
ple:

Anai matto gi gima'- hiha


when come LOC house- 3P1.POS
'When they came back to their house,'
Thematicity and subject coding 187

ha- baba ayu t balvtan


E.Ss- open that the package
'the two married people opened'

t doe um- asagua. Anai


the two SING marry when
'the package. When they'

mo- baba h-um- uyong patgon,


PAS- open SING- out child
'opened it, a child came out,'

yuhi no balutan t
that LINK package the
'out of that bundle which'

b-tn- aba- ha. Putt


NOM- open Ss.POS then
'they had opened. So the couple'

-um- untrata cstc na


SING- agree this LINK
'agreed that they'

urn- ataga na gof adahi


SING- marry COMP very beware
'should be very careful not'

na um- a- tangan g*
COMP SING- REC- tell LOC
'to talk to each other in the'

sengeong na mahodda' balutan ya


village COMP A.P.-find package and
'village that they had found a bundle and'

patgon h-um uyong. Puce ttie


child SING- out so this
'that a child had come out. So from'
188 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

na patgon sikretu mo'na etgt di


LINK child secret ahead keep
'now on they raised this child'

ha- poke at.


E.3s- raise
'in secret.' (107;13-19)

In the last clause of (2) the referential distance of the subject they
is 2. The referential distance of child, is only 1, so again we would
expect that according to the general rule an IN-passive should be
used indicating the higher degree of topicality of the Object child.
However, the couple and their experience is the main theme of this
paragraph and the organizational principle of thematic continuity
prevails in the concluding clause over topic continuity and this
pragmatic discourse organizing principle is coded syntactically by
selecting the thematic participant(s) as the syntactic subject of the
clause.
4. The fourth category of counterexamples to the rule of topicality is
based on only one clear example. The paragraph in which this
example was found contained a double theme: two brothers-in-law
Ngusuletao and Agurop. They are looking for the son of one of
them who has disappeared. The theme is about the separate ways
they go in order to find the lost boy. The first part of the para-
graph deals with the actions Ngusuletao takes, the second part
deals with what Agurop does. We get two parallel constructions
X did r and Y did with a number of clauses intervening. When
the second of the two parallel constructions appears in the narra-
tive, we actually return to the paragraph theme of the two broth-
ers, concentrating on what happened to the second one. Again,
the thematic participant is coded as the syntactic subject.
5. The last category contains a number of clauses, i.e., 3 transitives
(2 ergatives and 1 irrealis clause) and 3 IN-passives, which do not
fit under any of the aforementioned categories. Only one of these
counterexamples to the topicality rule is ultimately explicable in
terms of an obligatory focus construction using an IN-passive
Thematicity and subject coding 189

when the Object of the clause is existential, in this case a negative


existential Object nothing. (See Chapter 3, section 2.22.2.)

1.2. Thtmaticity and the rule of topie-ahift

Again, these 11 examples, i.e., 8 IN-passives and 3 ergatives, are not


without some observable regularities, semantic or pragmatic in
nature.
1. The first regularity involves the semantic notion of animacy. One
ergative and one IN-passive are explicable in terms of this notion.
As observed before (i.e., in Chapter 5) inanimates cannot be
selected as syntactic subjects when the second major participant is
animate. This rule reflects a grammaticalization of the pragmatic
generalization that inanimates are on the whole less topical than
animates in narrative discourse. Hence, the ergative was selected
instead of the expected IN-passive (since the Object was Agent in
the previous proposition) because the Object was inanimate.
Similarly, a seemingly anomalous IN-passive is explicable since the
Agent, though functioning as Agent in the previous clause as well,
was inanimate.
2. The second regularity runs entirely parallel to the second set of
examples in the previous section. I found three examples of IN-
passives where I would have expected ergative clauses according to
the rule of topic-shift. In all three cases the participant selected as
the syntactic subject of the clause also functioned as the theme of
the paragraph. Again, these clauses picked up the main thematic
line of the paragraph after a number of backgrounded clauses.
3. A third regularity is based on three examples of IN-passives in
which the Agent was animate and also the Agent of the previous
clause so that there was no reason to expect anything but an erga-
tive construction. What these three constructions have in com-
mon is that they are conjoined syntactically with the previous pro-
position to form a coordinated sentence, and the same referent of
the Object in the new clause was coded as syntactic subject in the
190 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

previous clause. This points to a strong tendency in Chamorro to


keep the syntactic role of the same referent unchanged in tightly
conjoined sentences regardless of their semantic role. Example:

Puee p-tn- ekaai hulo' yo


so PAS- raise up and
sigi di eh-in- agi para u-
keep PAS- try IRR IRR.Ss-
We' kao maolck na patgon.
see Q good LINK child
'So he (==the governor) raised him and kept
testing him to see whether he was a good
child.' (192;35)

In the first part of the sentence the Agent is less topical in the
immediate narrative environment so a passive is used. However,
the participants, Agent and Object, or the governor and the child
respectively, have the same value 1 for referential distance in the
second proposition. One expects, according to the rule of topic-
shift, that the referent which functioned as Agent in the first pro-
position be coded as syntactic subject in the second. Thus an erga-
tive construction with the referent of the governor coded as
highest topic would be more appropriate. However, it is the ehild
which maintains its status of highest topic in the second clause
precisely because of the tight conjunction with the previous clause,
forming one single intonation unit in which the syntactic role of
the referents is maintained.

4. A fourth class of counterexamples is an amalgam of instances for


which I could not find a plausible explanation, either on the
organizational level of the clause, or on the level of the paragraph.
They remainup to this pointgenuine anomalies. This last class
consists of 3 IN-passives and 2 ergatives.
Thematicity and subject coding 191

l.S. Conclusions

From the previous two subsections it has become clear that syntactic
coding devices do not only reflect discourse organization in terms of
topic continuity, involving information at the level of the clause, but
also in terms of thematic continuity found in larger units of discourse
such as the paragraph. Thematic continuity contributes more to the
continuity of the narrative as a whole than topic continuity, yet it is
still the case that the rule of topic continuity correctly predicts the
syntactic coding of most propositions in the narratives.
There seem to be two reasons for this observation. First of all,
topic continuity is often an integral part of thematic continuity in
that the theme of a given paragraph often involves one or more cen-
tral characters. That thematic unity is of a higher order than topic
continuity can be seen in the fact that the predictions made by the
general rule of topic continuity can be overruled if the less topical
participant in the immediate discourse environment happens to be
(part of) the paragraph theme. Examples were given in the two pre-
vious subsections. There is evidence that the correlation between topic
continuity and thematic continuity is indeed very high. Both gen-
erally lead to the same choice of referent as the syntactic subject in
the sentence. Scrutinizing all (i.e., 100) clauses in the data in which
Agent and Object were animate and in which they both had the same
value for referential distance, lead to the following results: In 86
clauses the subject was also the most important participant in the
thematic paragraph. Five of these clauses contained an Agent and an
Object which were both equally important to the paragraph theme, in
which case the referent which last functioned as the Agent was
selected as the subject of the new clause. Of the 14 remaining clauses
in which the subject did not coincide with the paragraph theme, 9
occurred in background clauses which did not contribute to the
development of the theme or story as a whole. In these nine cases,
the choice of syntactic subject was entirely based on clause level infor-
mation, i.e. predictable by the rule of topic continuity. Three clauses
were part of a tightly conjoined syntactic clause chain in which the
same referents were kept in the same syntactic roles across clause
192 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

boundaries regardless of their semantic role (see point 3 in previous


section). Only two of the 100 clauses were genuine anomalies which
could not be explained either on the basis of thematic or topic con-
tinuity.
Secondly, thematicity is not as easily described as topicality.
Whereas topicality can be assessed relatively easily in quantitative
measures, thematicity involves a number of factors which cannot be
weighed against each other in the same way. Thematic continuity
involves not only continuity of participants, but also of action and
often location as well. A change in one of these three factors may or
may not have an effect on the theme of the paragraph. A theme may
describe the actions of one individual in an afternoon and when the
attention is shifted from this one particular individual, a change of
theme is often a direct result. On the other hand, a paragraph may
be about the experiences of a number of different individuals so that
changing the participant does not involve a change in the thematic
continuity of that paragraph.
Even though thematic continuity cannot be described and meas-
ured in as concrete terms as topic continuity, yet intuitively we can
recognize the theme and indicate the beginning and end of most para-
graphs in narratives and other types of texts. Since the theme is less
clearly identifiable, it is expected that its grammatical coding will be
weak (see Givon, 1983b). Still, there are languages which code para-
graph introduction and closure and even thematic participants by
means of morphosyntactic markers. (See Longacre, 1979 for more
details and examples.) In other languages with flexible word order,
e.g., Ute (Givon, 1983a), Spanish (Bentivoglio, 1983), Biblical
Hebrew (Fox, ., 1983), or Tagalog (Fox, B., 1985), one can find a
correlation between paragraph position and the type of word order
used. The problem of word order variation in Chamorro will be dealt
with in the next section.
Thematicity and subject inversion 193

2. Thematicity and subject inversion

In Chamorro, even though the basic word order is VSO, SVO is not
uncommon in narrative texts. In this section I will explore the prag-
matic function of the two different word order patterns. There is sug-
gestive evidence from a number of languages (such as Ute [Givon,
1983a], Spanish [Bentivoglio, 1983], Biblical Hebrew [Fox, ., 1983],
and Tagalog [Fox, B., 1985]) that the use of different word order pat-
terns involving the position of the subject in the clause correlates with
differing degrees of topicality of the subject referent. In these
languages placing the subject before the verb marks its referent as
being discontinuous in the narrative, whereas subjects in postverbal
position code highly continuous subjects. In addition, the same
languages provide evidence for a correlation between the type of word
order used and its position in the thematic paragraph. As such, sub-
jects in preverbal position do not only correlate with topic discon-
tinuity but also with thematic discontinuity. SVO word order is
more commonly found at major paragraph breaks, either introducing
a new paragraph or interrupting one in the middle. VSO is com-
monly found in paragraph medial and final position. Whereas there
is no support for the first hypothesis in the Chamorro narratives,
there is good evidence that word order in Chamorro codes thematic
continuity.
In order to evaluate both hypotheses, I performed a number of
tasks on the 200 pages of narratives which provided the data base for
this manuscript. First of all, in anticipation of the second hypothesis,
I divided all clauses with SVO and VSO word order respectively into
two separate categories according to their position in the paragraph. 1
One category contained those clauses, SVO2 or VSO, appearing in the
middle or at the end of the paragraph, continuing the main line of
thematic development within the paragraph. The second category
contained those clauses which either initiate a new paragraph or pro-
vide a break in the middle of one, often in the form of an interjection
194 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

by the speaker or one or more backgrounded clauses not directly


related to the main theme. Examples:
1. VSO in medial position.

(4) Dtapuea dt k-um- uentoa i bihu


after SING- talk the old man
'After the old man had talked'
guaha um- t- 'ipc i
be E.I.- RED- cut the
'someone was cutting the'

manha- siha ya ha- no-


coconut - PI and E.Ss- RED-
'green coconuts and giving'

na'i i biha. Ha- gimcn


give the old woman E.3s- drink
'them to the old lady. The old lady'

t btha t manha- siha,


the old woman the coconut- PI
'drank the green coconuts,'

deapute k-um- u cntoe.


after SING- talk
'and afterwards she talked.' (24; 14-16)

This portion of a paragraph is clearly about an old lady and the


clause 'The old lady drank the green coconuts' is in the middle of
the paragraph, being the third proposition. The subject the old
lady occurs in postverbal position.
2. VSO in initial position.

Pues un dia, guaha un


then one day be a
'Then one day, there was a'
Thematicity and subject inversion 195

taotao lokkue' na marlo-loffan


man also COMP RED-walk by
'a man passing by'

gi ehalan ya ha- eangan


LOC road and E.Ss say
'on the road and he spoke'

taiguini na taya' ti u-
like this COMP nothing NEG IRR.Ss
'like this that there is nothing'

ma- tungo' u- ma- kc-


PAS- know IRR.Ss- try-
'one does not know one will not try'

tungo' ya taya' ti u-
know and nothing NEG IRR. Ss-
'to know, and nothing one does not'

me- li'e' u- ma- kt-


PAS- see IRR.Ss- try-
'not see, one will not try to'

li'e'. Ha- hungok ei rat


see E.Ss- hear UNM king
'see. The king heard'

ate na kuentoe...
this LINK speech
'this speech...' (139;8-11)

There is a major break between the last clause and the previous
ones. The underlined clause which shows VSO word order starts a
new paragraph. There is no continuity with the action or the par-
ticipant of the previous set of clauses.
196 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

3. SVO in medial position.

(6) Motto t tiempo na g-um- at


come the time COMP SING-have
'There came a time that Joaquin was'

interea et Joaquin ae Rosa.


interest UNM Joaquin OBL Rosa
'interested in Rosa.'

Ya- ha at Rosa na
like- Ss.POS UNM Rosa LINK
'He liked the girl Rosa.'

palao 'an. Parehu i doe achaeha


woman same the two both
'They both attended'

ma- atende t gtma Yu'us.


E.SP1- attend the house God
'the same church.' (26;3-4)

The theme of this paragraph is Joaquin and Rosa and their bud-
ding love for each other. The SVO clause further develops the
thematic line by giving more information about the situation of
both the thematic participants.
4. SVO at paragraph break.

(7) Gof na'- ma'aae' i pagon.


very CAUS- pity the child
'The child was very pityful.'

K-um- a- ka'dideng gi kada


SING- RED- hop LOC every
'He was just hopping at every'
Thematicity and subject inversion

k-in- alamente-n- ha. Unu ha'


-NOM- move- N- 3s.POS one only
'move he made. He only had one'

addtng- ha, unu ha' kannai-


leg- Ss.POS one only arm-
'leg, he only had one arm,'

fia, lamita ha' tiyan- na


3s.POS half belly- Ss.POS
'only half a stomach,'

lamita ha' paehot- ha, gui'eng-


half only mouth- 3s.POS nose-
only half a mouth, nose'

ha yan t/u- ha. Mampoe


Ss.POS and head- Ss.POS very
'and head.'

t nana ni- no - ma'ate'


the mother PAS- CAUS- pity
'The mother was very sorry'
ni lahi- ha.
OBL son- 3s.POS
'for her son.'

Guiguiya ha' na mats a


EMP.3s-RED only LINK self
'John played only'

h-um- ugando ei Juan. Taya'ni unu


SING- play UNM John noone at all
'by himself. Not one'
patgon malago' h-um- ugando yan
child want SING- play with/and
'child wanted to play'
198 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

st Juan.
UNM John
'with John.' (78;67-7l)

The theme of this paragraph is the pitiful state the child is in.
The underlined SVO clause does not provide more information
about the child, it does not add to the description of his fate,
rather the speaker comments on the feelings of the mother con-
cerning her son. The shift of attention from the child to the
mother causes a break in the thematic development of this partic-
ular paragraph.

5. SVO in initial position.

(8) Guaha man- manu- nule' nenkanno',


some PI- A.P.-RED- get food
'There were some who were getting food,'

gimen, yan guaha tokkue' i


drink and some also the
'drinks, and there were also those who'

mahu- hule' guatu tinitfok, cheggai


A.P.-RED- get there basket shell
'were bringing baskets, shells'

yan kulaUa halomtano' pot i


and beads forest in order the
'and beads from the forest in order to'

para uma- n o --
na neste
neete t
IRR IRR. 3 PI- CAUS- adorn the
'adorn the'

taotao pat ayu i btsita


people or that the visitor
'people or those visitors'
Thematicity and subject inversion 199

nt man- halom gtya Chulu.


REL PI- inside LOC Chulu
'who had entered the land at Chulu.'

Ya ti apman i tinaotao
and NEG long the people
'And before long the people'

pat t nattbu- ttha ma-


or the native- PI E.3P1
'or the natives attended'

attende i tree na hafrago


attend the three LINK outsider
'to the three Spanish outsiders'

Etpahot nt man- halom gtya


Spanish REL PI- enter LOC
'who had entered the land at'

Chulu ginen i batko-n Conception.


Chulu from the boat-N Concepsion
'Chulu from the boat named "Concepsion".'

I heffi at Tagaanat
the hero OBL Taga' when
'So the hero, Taga', when'

etta tilentio i buruka puee


already silent the noise then
'the noise had subsided, then'

ayu nat ti Taga' ha- fatten


that's when UNM Taga' E.3s- ask
'that's when Taga' asked'

t tret na bitita nu
the three LINK visitor OBL
'the three visitors about'
200 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

ayu i ha- eueedi guihi


that the E.3s experience there
'what he had experienced'

na puengt.
LINK night
'that night.' (21;23-29)

After a paragraph which describes the activities of the natives in


preparation for the visitors' reception, the focus of attention shifts
back to Taga'. The change of participants and also the discon-
tinuity in the action brings about a change in theme as well since
the action continuity is not picked up again. Rather, the follow-
ing clauses remain focussed on Taga' and his wish to find out
what the meaning was of his experience the previous night.
Secondly, I applied both the measures of referential distance and per-
sistence to the subject referents in these four groups of clauses. As
Giv<5n (1983b) predicts (predictions which are borne out by evidence
from Ute and Spanish [see Givon, 1983a and Bentivoglio, 1983 respec-
tively]), one would expect that topics at the start of a new paragraph
have a higher value for referential distance and also a fairly high
value for persistence, whereas topics in the middle of a paragraph are
expected to show an overall lower value for referential distance and a
medium value for persistence, since these participantsif they func-
tion as thematic participants as wellhave been introduced already in
the paragraph and continue to play a major role. Finally, topics at
paragraph final position should have a low value for referential dis-
tance and an equally low value for persistence since they come before
the start of a new paragraph in which a new participant may take
over the role of thematic participant.
The predictions made by Givon (1983b) are not borne out by the
Chamorro facts as Table 29 shows: The average value of referential
distance for subjects in VSO word order seems to follow the predic-
tions made by Givon (1983b): it is higher for topics at the beginning
of a new paragraph (or at paragraph break) and lower for topics
appearing in the middle or at the end of the paragraph. However,
subjects in SVO word order patterns do not conform to this schema.
Thematicity and subject inversion 201

Table 29. Values for referential distance and topic persistence


fo subjects in paragraph initial/break and
paragraph medial/final position in
VSO and SVO word order patterns

VSO SVO
Initial/ Medial/ Initial/ Medial/
Break Final Break Final
referential (19) (57) (57) (25)
distance 11.05 8.16 8.07 8.40

topic
persistence 2.05 1.04 1.32 0.96

Decreasing the variability of the overall measures by applying the


measurements separately on the subjects of the different clause pat-
terns, i.e. ergative or irrealis transitive vs. MA-passive vs. IN-passive
vs. antipassive, did not change the picture at all.
Even though in Chamorro only definite NP's can occur both in
preverbal and postverbal position, the kind of definite NP's compared
here do not form a homogeneous class and this may explain why the
measurements of referential distance and persistence do not give the
expected results. The value for the measurement of referential dis-
tance alone varies from 1 to 20 in each of the four categories, i.e.,
definite N P subjects in either SVO or VSO word order and in either
paragraph initial/break position or paragraph medial/final position.
Of the 158 clauses total there axe 25 clauses which occur in paragraph
initial or paragraph break position in which the definite NP shows a
referential distance value of 1 and there are an equal number of
clauses in the same position in which the referential value for the
definite subject NP is 20. In paragraph medial and final clauses there
are 28 clauses in which the referential distance of the subject NP is 1,
and 25 in which it is 20 (see Table 30).
202 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

Table SO. Distribution of clauses in paragraph initial/break


or paragraph medial/final position with subjects
with referential value of 1, 20 or in between

Initial/Break Medial/Final
referential distance = 1 25 32.9% 28 34.1%
referential distance = 20 25 32.9% 25 30.5%
referential distance =
between 1 and 20 26 34.2% 29 35.4%
Total 76 100.0% 82 100.0%

As Table 30 shows, approximately a third of all the clauses in


both positions have either the minimum or maximum value for
referential distance. This shows that the class of definite NP's which
is being compared is not homogeneous at all. Definite NP's in narra-
tive discourse are mostly used when the speaker assumes the hearer
may have some trouble identifying the referent of an NP. The larger
the gap between the previous mention of this element and the new
reference, the more likely a speaker is to use the coding device of full
definite NP (Givon [Ed.], 1983c).
If one looks at the two extreme values of 1 and 20 for referential
distance, it is clear that the two classes of NP's which belong to either
category are not very easy to compare. That NP's with a value of 20
for referential distance are coded as full definite NP's is easily
justifiable and conforms to our expectations. However, it is fairly
unusual for highly continuous referents which have a low value for
referential distance to be coded as definite NP's. Upon scrutiny of all
the instances in which the subject NP is coded as a definite NP and
has a referential value of 1, the following observations can be made.
There are two pragmatic reasons why a referent with a value of 1 for
referential distance is coded as a definite NP. First of all, consistent
with the general use of the definite NP coding device, the immediately
preceding discourse environment may allow for some ambiguity as to
the referential identity of the subject in the new clause, in which case
Thematicity and subject inversion 203

the potential ambiguity may be resolved by identifying the intended


referent uniquely through the use of a definite NP. The ambiguity
may come about in several ways:
1. The topic may have been broadened in scope. Example:

(9) Puee mu- maoltk- haihon i


then SING- good- a little the
'Then the mother started to'

nana. Parehu t nana yan


mother same the mother and
'feel a little better. Both the mother'

t tata ma- toktok guatu


the father E.SP1- hug there
'and the father hugged'

* laht-n- hiha.
the son- N- 3P1.POS
'their son right there.' (85;178-179)

The referential distance of both the mother and the father is 1 since
the topic of the previous clause, i.e., mother, is continued as part
of the reference. However, the referential identity is expanded to
include the father and needs to be indicated explicitly. This is
done by means of a definite NP.
2. The topic may have been narrowed:

(10) Ma- planeha para uma- no'-


E.3P1- plan IRR IRR.SP1- CAUS
'They planned to have'

guaha dankolo na baottemo para


have big LINK baptism for
'a big baptismal party for'
204 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

i patgon- hiha. Puts man-


the child- 3P1.POS then A.P.-
'their child. But then the man'

ha so i lahi ya tlek-ha...
think the man and say-Ss.POS
'thought of something and said...' (77;55-57)

Since dual number is not indicated on the verb by means of a


plural agreement marker but by the morpheme for singular agree-
ment in syntactically intransitive clauses (see Chapter 3), not
using the definite NP to indicate the exact referent of the subject
of the antipassive clause may have led to the mistaken
identification of the subject referent by the hearer in this particu-
lar clause as being the same as in the previous clause, i.e., both
the man and the woman. The coding of the subject NP as a
definite NP rules out any potential ambiguity.
3. Topic-shift:

(11) ...guaha um- i- ipt' i


have E.I.- RED- cut the
'...someone was cutting the'
manha- tiha ya ha- na-
coconut- PI and E.3s- RED-
'green coconuts and giving'

na'i i biha. Ha- gtmen


give the old lady E.3s- drink
'them to the old lady. The old lady'

t biha i manha ya...


the old lady the coconut and
'drank the green coconuts and...' (24;15-1)

The subject of the last clause in this example was indirect object
of the previous clause. There is a shift in topic from someone (i.e.,
the subject in the first two clauses) to the old lady. Without the
Thematicity and subject inversion 205

use of the coding device of definite NP in the last clause, the


hearer may have inferred that the topic remained the same, i.e.,
that someone not only cut the coconuts and gave them to the old
lady, but also drank them. Admittedly, this interpretation would
have been less plausible given the sequence in which the actions
are presented in the narrative, nevertheless the potential ambi-
guity exists. Thus the shift from one participant as highest topic,
coded as subject in the clause, to another one in the next clause,
i.e., one which was present in the previous clause but not coded as
syntactic subject, calls for the use of the definite NP to avoid
potential ambiguity as to the unique referential identity of the
highest topic in the new clause.

There are possibly other situations in the narrative in which ambi-


guity may arise and thus necessitate the coding of the highest topic of
the clause as a definite NP even though the referential distance value
is only 1. In addition, one cannot but acknowledge the fact that
speakers sometimes use the definite NP coding device without
apparent reason.

(12) Ha- hungok ta et rat


. 3s- hear again UNM king
'Again, the king heard'

cite bunitu na klaee-n eon.


this pretty LINK kind-N tune
'these pretty tunes.'

ay a' si rat nat


nothing UNM king when
'Never before had the king'

ha- hungok eete siha...


E.3s- hear this PI
'heard these...' (140;29-30)

In example (12) the second clause contains a subject with referential


distance 1. There does not seem to be any doubt as to who the topic
206 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

of the second clause could be, since in essence the information of the
first clause is repeated in the second. Yet, the speaker chooses to code
this unambiguous subject as a definite NP.
Comparing the clauses with highly continuous subjects (i.e., those
with a value of 1 for referential distance) in paragraph initial (or
break) position with those in paragraph medial or final position, a
remarkable correlation comes to light: of the 25 clauses at the start or
break of a paragraph, 16 clauses contained a definite NP subject
without apparent reason judging from the immediately preceding
discourse, whereas 9 involved some ambiguity as to the possible iden-
tity of the highest topic in the new clause. On the other hand, of the
28 clauses in paragraph medial or final position, only 8 seemed to be
without reason and 20 involved some kind of potential interference or
ambiguity as to the referential identity of the subject (see Table 31):

Table 31. Relative distribution of clauses with highly topical


subjects in the thematic paragraph according to
potential interference as to their
referential identity

Initial/Break Medial/Final
potential ambiguity of Subj. 9 36% 20 71.4%
no ambiguity of Subj. 16 64% 8 28.6%
Total 25 100% 28 100.0%

These results lead me to the conclusion that the second pragmatic


reason for the use of the definite NP coding device is to code the start
of a new paragraph or the break in one. Both situations indicate a
break in the previously established theme, either to start a new one,
or to suspend it temporarily. It is obvious that the first pragmatic
reason given here, i.e., to resolve any potential ambiguity, will in cer-
tain cases overlap with this second function.
A further interesting correlation can be made. Of the 25 clauses in
initial or break position, a total of 22 clauses were in SVO order, as
opposed to only 8 of the 28 clauses occurring in paragraph medial or
Thematicity and subject inversion 207

paragraph final position (see Table 32). VSO was more common
among the clauses in paragraph medial/final position, i.e., 20, than at
a paragraph start or break, i.e., 8. Similar results are obtained across
the board for all clauses in SVO order compared to all clauses in VSO
order regardless of the value for referential distance of their respective
subjects. (See Table 33.)

Table 32. Distribution of clauses with highly continuous


subject NP's in SVO and VSO word order
in the thematic paragraph

Initial/Break Medial/Final
SVO 22 88.0% 8 28.6%
VSO 3 12.0% 20 71.4%
Total 25 100.0% 28 100.0%

Table 33. Distribution of SVO and VSO clauses in


the thematic paragraph

Initial/Break Medial/Final
VSO 19 25.3% 57 68.7%
SVO 56 74.7% 26 31.3%
Total 75 100.0% 83 100.0%

Of all 76 VSO clauses, 19 or 25% occur at the start of a paragraph or


at the break of one, whereas 57 or 75% occur in the middle or at the
end of a paragraph continuing the main line of thematic development.
Of all 82 SVO clauses, 56 or 68.3% disrupt the thematic continuity of
the paragraph, either by beginning a new one or temporarily suspend-
ing the ongoing thematic line. 26 of them, i.e., 31.7% maintain the
thematic continuity of the paragraph.
208 8. Discourse organization and thematicity

The results of this section strongly suggest that subject inversion


in Chamorro reflects the organization of the narrative at the level of
the thematic paragraph. The large majority of clauses with
unmarked VSO word order are found in the middle of a paragraph or
at the end where there is no disruption in the development of the
paragraph theme. The marked SVO word order on the other hand is
mostly used to indicate that the theme has either changed or is tem-
porarily suspended in order to give background information or to
allow the speaker to give additional comments not necessarily pertain-
ing to the theme of the present paragraph.
The correlation between word order type and position in the
thematic paragraph is not nearly as strong as that between construc-
tion type and relative degree of topicality of the participants in a pro-
position. Thematic continuity cannot be described in the same con-
crete terms as topic continuity since it represents a more abstract
level of discourse organization. Since thematicity cannot be opera-
tionally defined to the same extent, one would expect that its gram-
matical coding in discourse will not be as strong either. Yet, it can-
not be denied, and this chapter provides proof in this direction, that
the existence of the thematic paragraph as a functional category must
be recognized and that the notion of thematicity can be codedalbeit
weaklyby manipulating the word order patterns in a language.

Notes

1. I have restricted the investigation to those syntactic devices cod-


ing transitive propositions for practical reasons only. Since the
bulk of this manuscript deals with transitive propositions, they
were entered in the computer and therefore were easily accessible
by means of a "selecting" program which picked out those clauses
with SVO word order and those with VSO word order. Intransi-
tive propositions were not part of the data entered in the com-
puter file and therefore not accessed through this program. It is
reasonable to assume, however, that a sample of 159 clauses total
Thematicity and subject inversion 209

will give a fairly accurate representation of the breakdown of the


SVO and VSO clauses overall.
2. Focus constructions containing the ergative infix -UM- on the sur-
face look like clauses in which the subject has been inverted and
placed in preverbal position (see Chapter 7). However, these
clauses are not taken into consideration in this chapter for two
reasons. First of all, they are pragmatically more marked than
the SVO clauses which this chapter talks about which merely give
additional information to the audience. Secondly, it is quite likely
that these -UM- clauses should be analyzed as unmarked VSO
clauses in which the extracted subject functions as the predicate of
the rest of the clause, containing the only new piece of information
given in the clause. The remainder of the clause isas I have
argued in the previous chapterpresupposed.
Chapter N i n e

Conclusions

In this last chapter I would like to recapitulate the major issues dis-
cussed in the present work. The goal of my research was to provide
an adequate analysis of all the syntactic constructions which express
transitive propositions in the Chamorro language, i.e., those proposi-
tions which contain both an Agent and an Object and a verb which
describes an action transfer from the Agent onto the Object.
The Chamorro speaker has a choice among seven different con-
struction types to realize such propositions. In spoken narratives the
most frequently used construction is active and syntactically transi-
tive, i.e., the ergative construction or its irrealis counterpart. For this
reason, I have considered it as the norm with which the other sentence
types should be compared.
Besides the syntactically transitive construction there are three
syntactically intransitive clause types which also occur in affirmative,
main, or what I have called basic clauses. These are the antipassive
construction and two distinct passives named the IN-passive and the
MA-passive for the affix on the verb with which they are formed. In
addition to these four finite constructions there are three non-finite
sentence types which can only be found in complex clauses, i.e., in
WH-questions, relative clauses, certain sentential complements,
emphatic constructions, and propositions in which the Agent or the
Object is quantified by an indefinite quantifier. The first of these
non-finite constructions contains a verb in which the ergative agree-
ment markers have been replaced by the infix -UM-, which I have
called the ergative infix since it cannot replace irrealis or intransitive
agreement markers. The other two non-finite constructions are nomi-
nalizations which can be differentiated on the basis of the presence or
absence of the nominalizing infix -IN- on the verb.
Conclusions 211

The hypothesis underlying this work is functional in nature, i.e., I


assume that the choice of syntactic constructions is governed by prag-
matic and/or semantic constraints. I assume, for instance, that the
four sentence types occurring in basic clauses reflect the structure of
the discourse, in that the choice of one construction over the others is
controlled by the immediate discourse environment in which it occurs.
In particular, I have shown that the need to maintain continuity in
the narrative constrains the Chamorro speaker in his choice of syntac-
tic construction. Speakers do not string clauses together in a hapha-
zard way, rather, clauses are concatenated in order to form larger
structural discourse units such as paragraphs. The reason why we can
recognize the beginning and the end of a paragraph is due to the fact
that each paragraph can be identified through a unifying principle
called theme, which guarantees the continuity at this particular level
of the narrative. The theme can be somewhat vague and is often real-
ized through more concrete unifying principles, e.g., the extent to
which participants maintain their referential identity in contiguous
clauses. This is the measure of topicality. The more frequently a
participant occurs in the paragraph, the higher its chance to function
as the paragraph theme. Since topics are concrete referents, their con-
tinuity is more easily assessed than the less obvious and sometimes
abstract theme of the paragraph.
In view of these facts, I have used a concrete, quantitative method
proposed by Givon. The method allowed me to compare the four
constructions which occur in basic clauses based on the relative degree
of topicality of Agents and Objects in the transitive propositions.
The application of the quantitative method on the Chamorro narra-
tives lead to the following general observations:

1. The highest topical N P in a proposition is selected to fulfill the


role of syntactic subject in the sentence.
2. As a result, the Agent is chosen to become subject when it is
higher in topicality than the Object, resulting in an active clause.
With the ergative as the basis of comparison, I observed that
antipassives are used when the Object is particularly low in topi-
cality. In fact, the antipassive is obligatory when the Object is
212 9. Conclusions

indefinite or non-referential. The extreme case of low degree of


topicality is actualized when the Object is not identified at all.
3. When the Object is higher in topicality than the Agent a passive
construction must be used. The difference between the IN-passive
and the MA-passive is partly pragmatic and partly semantic in
nature. The majority of IN-passives occur with a singular Agent
whereas the majority of MA-passives occur without any Agent at
all. When the latter is nevertheless present, it is almost always
plural.

In addition to this general comparison, I analyzed each of the con-


structions in more detail. There are a number of configurations of
Agent and Object which require the use of a passive construction:
plural, nominal Agents cannot occur in syntactically transitive sen-
tences. A passive construction must be used. Passives are also obli-
gatory when the Agent is inanimate and the Object animate and
when the Agent is referred to as a full noun phrase whereas the
Object is pronominal. Chamorro speakers seem to be biased toward
pronominal, animate, and singular referents as highest topics in the
clause. The bias towards these more topic-worthy referents is
reflected in the numeric results obtained by applying the quantitative
method. In narrative Chamorro discourse, singular referents axe
overall more topical than plural ones, animates more topical than
inanimates, and pronominal referents more topical than full NP's.
Chamorro speakers even seem to have grammaticalized these biases
since even in cases where for instance the plural Agent is numerically
more topical than the singular Object, the use of an active transitive
construction is considered ungrammatical.
The comparison between the active transitive clause pattern and
the two passives revealed a number of instances in which the predic-
tion made by the rule of topicality, i.e., that the participant with the
highest degree of topicality must be chosen as syntactic subject of the
clause, was violated. These apparent aberrations were particularly
interesting since they provided a nice confirmation of the claim that
topic continuity is only a reflection of thematic continuity. Most of
these so-called counterexamples to the rule of topicality can be
Conclusions 213

explained on the basis of thematic continuity in t h a t the subject


turned out to be the most important participant or theme of the para-
graph. In the case of passives then semantic constraints correlate
nicely with pragmatic ones.
T h e occurrence of the antipassive, on the other hand, can be a
function of semantic characteristics alone. T h e semantic constraints
which govern the optional use of this particular construction are
based on semantic features of the Agent, of the Object, and of the
verb. T h e speaker may use an antipassive when the Agent is only
partially identified, or when the Object is not necessarily affected by
the activity depicted in the verb, or when the verb describes a habi-
tual, iterative, or distributive action. These three semantic conditions
are examples of a more general semantic characteristic, i.e., that the
emphasis is not so much on the participants in the proposition, but
rather on the activity itself.
T h e occurrence of non-finite clauses as coding devices for transitive
propositions is governed by a combination of syntactic, semantic, and
pragmatic constraints. Both the construction with the ergative infix
-UM- and the two types of nominalizations are characterized by the
extraction of one of the elements out of the transitive proposition in
the complex clause. The choice between the three non-finite construc-
tions is determined partly by the syntactic role and partly by the
semantic role of the extracted element in the proposition out of which
it has been pulled. These non-finite constructions are also pragmati-
cally marked in t h a t they involve particular assumptions on the part
of the speaker, either regarding the familiarity of the hearer with the
propositional content of the marked clause, or regarding the actual
outcome of the state of affairs contained in that particular proposi-
tion.
Since the majority of the constructions I have analyzed are syntac-
tically intransitive (only the ergative and its irrealis counterpart are
transitive), the comparison gives some insight into the kind of con-
straints which play a role in the phenomenon of syntactic transitivity.
We can characterize a prototypical transitive clause in the following
way:
214 9. Conclusions

1. First of all, the proposition must contain at least two major parti-
cipants, i.e., an Agent and an Object.
2. Both the Agent and the Object must be clearly identifiable. The
presence of a partially identified Agent potentially results in the
use of an antipassive while an indefinite Object necessarily requires
the choice of this particular construction. An unidentified Agent
leads to the obligatory use of the MA-passive.
3. Pragmatically, the Agent must be more topical, more important
than the Object in the narrative. When the Object acquires the
status of highest topic, becomes more continuous than the Agent
in the discourse, one of the passive constructions must be used.
4. The predicate in the proposition prototypically describes an action
transfer from the Agent onto the Object which is complete.
5. The predicate preferably is punctual and is not marked for con-
tinuous or habitual aspect, otherwise an antipassive may be used.
6. The activity described in the predicate must have a lasting effect
on the Object. When this is not the case an antipassive construc-
tion is optional.
The constraints above characterize the prototypical transitive clause.
They also provide evidence for the scalar nature of syntactic transi-
tivity in that some constraints are more binding than others. For
instance, the syntactically transitive construction can be used even
though the Agent is only partially identified or the activity described
in the predicate is not punctual or does not have a lasting effect on
the Object.
Appendix A : S a m p l e story

The story of M a t a ' p a n g

Anai ti man- ma- fatto i eepahot


when NEG PI- RED- come the Spanish
'Before the Spanish were coming'

unu ma'gat gi todoe gi ehamorro i


one chief LOC all the Chamorro the
'there was one chief over all the Chamorros'

na'an- ha si Mata'pang.
name- Ss.POS UNM Mata'pang
'and his name was Mata'pang.'

Dankolo na taotao yan metgot- ha ki


big LINK man and strong- COMP than
'He was a big man and stronger than'

un taotao na ehamorro nt man- gaigi


one man LINK Chamorro REL PI- be
'any Chamorro man who lived'

Guam guthi na ttempo.


Guam there LINK time
'on Guam at that time.'

Anai man- matto i eepahot ya man-


when PI- come the Spanish and Pl-
'When the Spanish came and'

halom i mamale' ma- na' fan- eskuela


inside the Pl-priest E.3P1- CAUS- PI- school
'entered (the country), the priests made the'
216 Appendix A

i chamorro para ufan- katoliku ya bula


the Chamorro COMP IRR.3P1- catholic and many
'Chamorros go to school to become catholic and many'

man- ma- takpangi gi relihon t katoliku.


PI- PAS- baptize LOC religion the catholic
'were baptized in the catholic faith.'

Todu taotao guihi ni man- gaige


all the people there REL PI- be
'All the people who were there'

anai matto i espahot man- ma- afuetaaa


when come the Spanish PI- PAS- force
'when the Spanish came, were forced'

para ufan- ma-takpangi ea' taya' relihon-


COMP IRR.3P1- PAS-baptize because nothing religion
'to become baptized because they had no religion,'

htha lao ei Mata'pang yan i familia-ha


3P1.POS but UNM Mata'pang and the family-3s.POS
'but Mata'pang and his family'

ti malago' na ufan- ma- takpangi.


NEG want COMP IRR.3P1- PAS- baptize
'did not want to be baptized.'

Sigi ha' at pale' ni gaige gi


keep on INT UNM priest REL be LOC
'The priest who lived in Tumun at the time'

Tumun guihi na tiempo. I na'an- ha


Tumun there LINK time the name- 3s.POS
'just kept insisting. The name of

este na pale' si Pale' San Viktoria.


this LINK priest UNM Father St. Victor
'this priest was Father St. Victor.'
Sample story 217

Kadda dia h-um- anao ya ha- bisita


every day SING- go and E.3s- visit
'Every day he went and visited'

et Mata'pang yan i famtlia- ha ya


UNM Mata'pang and the family- 3s.POS and
'Mata'pang and his family and'

todu i tiempo ha- kuentutue- i pot


all the time E.3s -talk-RED- PRM about
'all the time he was talking to them about'

si Yu'os yan i debt ufan-


UNM God and the need COMP IRR.3P1-
'God and the need to become'

ma- takpangi yanggen malago' gut para u-


PAS- baptize if wat A.3s COMP IRR.3s
'baptized if one of them wanted to'

halom gi raino- langet yanggen matai.


enter LOC kingdom-N heaven if die
'enter the kingdom of heaven when they died.'

I asagua-ha et Mata'pang hunggan malago'


the spouse-3s.POS UNM Mata'pang indeed want
'Mata'pang's wife indeed wanted to'

ma- takpangi ya malago' lokkue' na


COMP PAS- baptize and want also COMP
'become baptized and she also wanted t h a t '

kinto i laht- ha u- ma- takpangt.


also the son- 3s.POS IRR.3s- PAS- baptize
'her son became baptized as well.'

Lao sen ti malago' et Mata'pang yan


but INT NEG want UNM Mata'pang and
'But Mata'pang definitely did not want this and'
218 Appendix A

maseha hafa Utk- ha i asagua- ha


regardless what say- 3s.POS the spouse- 3s.POS
'no matter what his wife said,'
et Mata 'pang Utk- ha munga na u-
UNM Mata'pang say- 3s.POS no COMP IRR.Ss-
'Mata'pang responded that there would be noone'
guaha ma- takpangt gi gima'- ha.
have PAS- baptize LOC house- 3s.POS
'baptized in his house.'
Puee un dia anai h-um- anao 81
then one day when SING- go UNM
'Then one day, when Mata'pang'
Mata'pang para u- peeka para t nenkano-
Mata'pang COMP IRR.3s- fish for the food-
'had gone out to fish for their meal'
hiha guihi na ha 'ani anai matto et
3P1.POS there LINK day when come UNM
'that day, and when Father St.Victor'
pale' San Viktoris ya ha- bisita t asagua-
priest St. Victor and E.3s- visit the spouse-
'came and visited Mata'pang's wife,'
na si Mata 'pang ilek- na t palao 'an
3s.POS UNM Mata'pang say- 3s.POS the woman
'the woman said'
"Pale', maila ya un- takpangi ham pa go
father come and IRR.2s- baptize A.1P1 now
' "Father, come and baptize us now'
buentas tattaigue' si Mata'pang gi gtma ya
while absent-RED UNM Mata'pang LOC house and
'while Mata'pang is not at home and'
Sample story 219

tt u- fatto tatti ta'lo asta i talo'ani."


NEG IRR.3s- come back again until the afternoon
'won't be back again until sometime in the afternoon." '

Puee t pale' ilek- ha


then UNM priest say- Ss.POS
'Then the priest said'

"Nangga ya baihu- hanao chule' i nititario


wait and IRR. Is go fetch the necessities
' "Wait and I will go fetch the necessary items'

rat para un- ma- takpangi."


REL COMP IRR. 2s- PAS- baptize
'(which are) for you to be baptized." '

Anai ha- bira gut' tatti si palt'


when E.3s- turn A.3s back UNM priest
'When the priest returned'

gtnen t gtma yu os ya h-um- anao guatu


from the church and SING- go there
'from the church and went back'

ta'lo gi gtma' Mata'pang, est a Jfc-um- tkki


again LOC house Mata'pang already SING- begin
'to Mata'pang's house, it was already noon'

talo'ani lao ilek- ha t aeagua- ha


afternoon but say- 3s.POS the spouse- 3s.POS
'but Mata'pang's wife said'

et Mata'pang na guaha ha' ttempo na


UNM Mata'pang COMP have INT time COMP
'that there was still time for'

para u- ma- takpangi guiya yan t


COMP IRR. 3s- PAS- baptize EMP.3s and the
'her and her son to be baptized'
220 Appendix A

lahi- ha antis dt u- fatto si Mata'pang.


son- 3s.POS before IRR.3s- come UNM Mata'pang
'before Mata'pang would return home.'

Mamokkat et pale' huyom gi kanto-n tasi


walk UNM priest outside LOC edge- sea
'The priest walked out onto the beach'

anai papakpak i inapu ya t-in- atti- yi


where roar-RED the wave and SING- follow-PRM
'where the waves were roaring and was followed'

ni este i asagua- ha si Mata'pang


OBL this the wife- 3s.POS UNM Mata'pang
'by Mata'pang's wife'

yan i lahi- ha.


and the son- 3s.POS
'and his son.'

H- um- alom gi halom hanom ya ha-


SING- enter LOC inside water and E.3s-
'They went into the water and followed'

tatti- yi t pale'. Ha- takpangi i


follow- PRM the priest E.3s baptize the
'the priest. He baptized'

asagua- ha si Mata'pang ya ha- tutuhon


spouse- 3s.POS UNM Mata'pang and E.3s start
'Mata'pang's wife and started'

t-um- akpangi lahi- Mata'pang. T-in- ant'


E.I.- baptize son- Mata'pang PAS- occupy
'to baptize Mata'pang's son. The priest was occupied'

si pale' ni i sertmonias ya ti
UNM priest OBL the ceremonies and NEG
'by the ceremonies and didn't'
Sample story 221

ha- li't' si Mata'pang mamaila' gtnen htyom


E.3s- see UNM Mata'pang RED-come from inside
'see Mata'pang coming out of the water.'

gt taai. Anai ha- li'e' si Mata'pang


LOC sea when E.3s- see UNM Mata'pang
'When Mata'pang saw'

hafa bida- da ha si pale' ha-


what do- RED- 3s.POS UNM priest E.3s
'what the priest was doing, he'

n a l a - duru t pinikat- na para


CUAS- CMP fast the step- 3s.POS COMP
'hastened his steps in order to'

u- na'- para i serimonias antis di u-


IRR.Ss- CUAS- stop the ceremonies before IRR.3s
'stop the ceremonies before they would'

funayan lao anai matto guato in- ikak


finish but when come there PAS- beat
'be finished, but when he arrived there he was defeated'

ya esta munayan si pale' ha- takpangi


and already finish UNM priest E.3s- baptize
'and the priest was already finished with baptizing'

i lahi- ha ya hi- lalalo '- na


the son- 3s.POS and INT- mad- CMP
'his son and Mata'pang got even madder.'

si Mata'pang. Ha- laknos t matsite - na


UNM Mata'pang E.3s- take out the machete- 3s.POS
'He took out his machete'

ya ha- ta'ga i aga'ga- ha et pale


and E.3s- cut the head- 3s.POS UNM priest
'and chopped off the priest's head.'
222 Appendix A

Ha- puno' i pale' ya ha- knne'


E.3s- kill the priest and E.3s take
'He killed the priest and took'

t aeagua- ha yan i Iaht- ha


the spouse- 3s.POS and the son- 3s.POS
'his wife and son'

guatu gi gima' ya ha- totta ha'


there LOC house and E.3s- leave INT
'home and just left'

i tataotao pale' gi kanto-n tasi.


the body priest LOC edge- sea
'the priest's body on the beach.'

Ha- tungo' si Mata'pang na ti u-


E.3s- know UNM Mata'pang COMP NEG IRR.Ss-
'Mata'pang knew that his days'

atman t ha'ani- ha sa' t espahot


long the day- 3s.POS because the Spanish
'were counted because the Spanish'

na stndalu siempre mo- aliligao mangge si


LINK soldier surely IRR.3Pl-look-RED where UNM
'soldiers would certainly start looking for the'

pale', hafa nai ti mafatto tatte' gi kumbento


priest why NEG RED-come back LOC convent
'priest and (wondering) why he had not returned to the monastery'

anai esta puengi. I espahot na stndalu


when already night the Spanish LINK soldier
'as soon as night had fallen. The Spanish soldiers'

ma- tungo' na h-um- anao et pale'


E.3P1- know COMP SING- go UNM priest
'knew that the priest had gone'
Sample story 223

para u- bieita si Mata'pang yan i


COMP IRR.Ss- visit UNM Mata'pang and the
'to visit Mata'pang and'

familia- ha.
family- 3s.POS
'his family.'

Anat mahana man- matto t espahot na


when morning PI- come the Spanish LINK
'At dawn, the Spanish soldiers came,'

stndalu ma- eodda' i Santos pale' na


soldier PI- find the saint priest LINK
'they found the saintly priest'

um- a'asson gi kanto-n una ma- utot


SING- RED-lie down LOC edge- sand PAS- cut
'lying down on the beach with his'

t ilu- ha. Ma tungo' hafa utimu-


the head- 3s.POS E.3P1- know what end-
'head cut off. They knew how his life had ended'

ha yan hayi eh-um- o'gue' este na


3s.POS and who SING- do this LINK
'and who had done this'

dankolo-n dahu guini gi Santos na pale'.


great- harm there LOC saint LINK priest
'great harm to the saintly priest.'

Ma- knne' si Mata'pang ya ma- utot


E.3P1- take UNM Mata'pang and E.3P1- cut
'They took Mata'pang and cut off

lokkue' i ilu- ha para uma- fa 'nu't


also the head- 3s.POS COMP IRR.3P1- show
'his head also in order to show'
224 Appendix A

t taotao ni man- gaige guihi na


the people REL PI- be there COMP
'the people who were there t h a t '

yanggen un- puno' unu na taotao- hiha


if IRR. 2s- kill one LINK people- 3P1.POS
'if you were to kill one of their people'

kululofia un pale' pues stempre un- angokko


especially a priest then surely IRR. 2s- expect
' especially a priest, then you could be sure t h a t '

na i ha 'ant- mu ti u- atman
COMP the day- 2s.POS NEG IRR.3S- long
'your own days were counted and'

ma- puno' hao lokkue'.


PAS- kill A.2s also
'that you would be killed also.'

Despuee di un ant deede ki anai matai et


after one year since when die UNM
'After one year since Father St.Victor'

pale' San Viktoria i taotao nt t


priest St.Victor the people REL the
'had died, the people who were the ones who'

h-um- ongge na i tataotao- na yan


E.I.- belive COMP the body- 3s.POS and
'believed that his body and'

i kuraeon- ha ha- hahaseo t taotao


the heart- 3s.POS E.3s- RED-remember the people
'his heart remembered the Guamanian people,'

Guam, ayu na ha'ani anai ma- puno'


Guam that LINK day when PAS- kill
'they came on the day that he was killed'
Sample story 225

man- matto para uma- adora i sankt


PI- come COMP IRR.3P1- adore the saint
'to adore the saintly priest.'

pale'. Anai man- alak hiyom ma- It 'e'


priest when PI- look out E.SP1- see
'When they looked out they saw'

na i tasi ayu na lugat anai


COMP the sea that LINK place where
'that the ocean, in the place where'

p-um- oddong i ilu- ha si pale'


SING- fall the head- 3s.POS UNM priest
'the head of Father St. Victor had fallen,'

San Viktorts na urn- agaga'. Guaha buente doe


St.Victor COMP SING- red be maybe two
'that the water had turned red. It lasted for maybe'

oras. Man- h-irv- engan i taotao ya


hours PI- PAS- startle the people and
'two hours. The people were startled and'

ma- tungo' na eete si pale' San Viktorie


E.3P1- know COMP this UNM priest St. Victor
'they knew that this Father St. Victor'

eantoe ni gaige gi langet. Ha- sangangan-


saint REL be LOC heaven E.3s- RED-tell-
'was a saint who was in heaven. He was telling'

i i taotao na ti maleffa mas eh a


PRM the people COMP forget regardless
'the people that he had not forgotten them no matter what'

bida- hiha. Ha- tayuyuyut- i todoe i


do- 3P1.POS E.3s- pray-RED- PRM all the
'they had done. He was praying for all the'
226 Appendix A

taotao ni man t'ieao.


people REL PI- sin
'people who sin.'
Appendix : List of abbreviations

A.P. antipassive
CAUS causative
CL classifier
CMP comparative
COMP complementizer
DIR directional particle
. ergative
E.I. ergative infix
EMP. emphatic pronoun
HYP hypothetical marker
INT intensifier
IRR irrealis
LINK linking particle
LOC locative
epenthetic
NOM nominalizer
OBL oblique
PAS passive
PI plural
POS possessive
PRM promotional suffix
REL relative marker
RED reduplication (imperfective)
REC reciprocal marker
SING singular
UNM unmarked
Is first person singular
2s second person singular
3s third person singular
1P1 first person plural
2P1 second person plural
3P1 third person plural
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Index

absolutive, 4, 31, 76 causative, 53n, 154, 180, 181


accusative, 93, 94 Chung, S., 4, 6, 23, 38, 48, 56,
affectedness, 116, 120, 121n, 213 78, 82, 86, 95n, 157, 164, 177
Agent, 2n, 18n, 26, 31, 58, 60, chomeur, 56
62n, 80n, 116n, 160, 165n, classifier, 27
183n, 190, 191, 210n; partial coding, 1, 9, 57, 98. See also
Agent, 126-128, 132, 140n, syntactic coding devices
214; degree of Agency, 116 coherence, 13
agentivity, 103n cognitive-utterance verbs, 153,
agreement: ergative agreement, 157, 180
36, 38, 49, 95, 112, 157, 160, colexicalization, 154, 156, 181
210; irrealis agreement, 38, complement constructions, 40n,
95; verb agreement, 34n, 59n, 111, 140-157, 173, 176. See
86, 90, 94, 112, 161 also sentential complements
ambiguity, 68, 163n, 202n complementizer, 141n, 14n, 180
animacy, 89n, 108, 109, 189, Comrie, B., 35, 95
191, 212n. See also inanimate control, 140-157, 180; direct
antipassive, 1, 5, 6, 26, 50, 54, control, 146n; indirect control,
57, 60n, 66, 69n, 75, 76, 87, 146n; verbs of control See
116-136, 201, 210n; Demoting manipulative verbs
antipassive, 70, 75, 119n; Cooreman, ., 59, 68, 86, 89n
Indefinite antipassive, 70,
117n Danes, F., 13
aspect, 116, 120, 130-132, 214 Dative, 18n, 56, 93, 94, 177;
Austronesian, 82 Dative movement, 26, 51, 56,
0-anaphora, 3, 14, 17, 59n, 90, 178
94, 161, 181 definite, 3, 14, 25, 59, 60n, 82,
89, 92, 94, 123, 135, 201n
backgrounding, 2, 9, 50, 51, 57, demoted, 26, 51, 128, 177. See
60, 71, 72, 77, 98, 102, 128n, also Demoting antipassive
186, 189, 193 detransitivization, 2, 81
Bentivoglio, P., 161, 182, 192, Dik, S., 1, 157
193, 200 direct object, 2, 18, 19, 26, 31,
bitransitive, 137 35, 36, 49, 51, 53, 55, 56, 68,
83, 91, 95, 100, 112, 119, 125,
Carolinian, 10 128, 144n, 164, 170, 177n, 181
case markers, 25, 26, 181 direct quote discourse, 112n
242 Index

discourse: context/environment, grammaticalization, 89, 212n


3, 5, 13, 71, 75, 79, 92, 96, 98, grammatical coding devices See
102, 11, 184, 191, 211; struc- also syntactic coding devices
ture, 12, 57, 66
Dixon, R.M.W., 5, 35, 36 habitual, 130n
Dyirbal, 5 Hajicova, E., 13
Halliday, M.A.K., 11
Eastern Oceanic, 82 Harries-Delisle, H. 139, 157
embedding, 78, 175. See also Hawkinson, ., 3
complement construction Heath, J., 1
emphatic constructions See hierarchy: of binding, 140, 153-
focus constructions 157; of features, 4; of indivi-
ergative, 1, 4, 5, 35, 36, 47, 61, duation, 85n; of natural
67, 73, 79, 80, 89, 108, 110, topics, 3, 4, 59; of semantic
118n, 139, 184n, 201; ergative roles, 109; of topicality, 77,
infix, 41n, 77, 115, 139, 141n, 92n
157-176; split ergative, 36. Hopper, P.J., 2, 3, 9, 71, 76, 77,
See also syntactically transi- 116n
tive Horne, M., 56
Eskimo, 121, 137. See also Houston, J., 14
Inuktituk Hull, R.D., 139, 157, 170n
existential, 77, 162, 167, 175, Hyman, L., 3
189
i-umlaut, 24n
Firbas, J., 13 identifiability, 98, 102, 135n,
Fletcher, C.R., 77 161n, 173, 178, 192, 202n, 214
focus construction, 2, 45, 47, identity, 117, 120, 126n, 129n,
115, 139, 157-179, 188, 209n 159, 160, 175n
Foley, W.A., 1, 82 imperfective, 54n
foregrounding, 71n, 77, 99, 162, impersonal construction, 74, 81
186 implicativity, 139, 140-157
Fox, ., 192, 193 inanimate, 80, 83, 100, 102, 164.
Fox, B., 192, 193 See also animacy
functional, In, 211n indefinite, 3, 14, 50, 59, 66, 69n,
74, 77, 90n, 117, 123n, 162
generative semantics, 167 indefinite quantifiers, 45, 48,
given, 3, 5, 20, 93, 98, 102 139, 166-179, 210
Gibson, J.D., 53n, 56, 181 individuation, 3, 4, 85n, 116n
Givon, T., In, 12n, 59, 140, intransitive, 35,n, 43, 49, 54, 57,
153n, 161, 165, 169, 182, 192, 75n, 81, 116n, 178, 180, 208,
200, 211 210n
Index 243

Inuktituk, 5. See also Eskimo Object, 2n, 18n, 26, 31, 49n,
irrealis, 1, 34n, 38n, 50, 61, 80, 57n, 60, 62n, 80n, 116n, 159,
89, 141n, 180, 201, 210n 167n, 183n, 191, 210n
object incorporation, 117
Johnson, D., 56 Oblique, 18, 26, 31, 48n, 53, 57,
Johnson, M.R., 138 73, 78, 81, 98, 106, 119, 125n,
136, 177n, 181
Kalmar, 1., 5, 36
Keenan, E.L., 56, 139, 157, 170n paragraph, l l n , 15, 21, 77, 109,
Kirsner, R.S., 14 182-209, 211; paragraph posi-
Klatzky, R., 14 tion, 192-208; paragraph
thematicity, 182-209
Lakoff, G. 167 partitive, 121
Latta, F., 23, 56 passive, 1, 6, 47, 49n, 61, 66,
Li, C.N., 13 71n, 75n, 80-115, 163, 172,
Lindner, S., 157, 164, 177 183n, 210n; agentless passive,
Longacre, R.E., 11, 192 80n; -IN- passive, 49n, 57,
71n, 75n, 81n, 201, 210n;
Malion, T.S., 138 MA-passive, 49n, 57n, 62,
manipulative verbs, 43, 140-148, 71n, 75n, 81n, 119, 201, 210n
155n. See also verbs of con- passivization, 98, 100
trol Perlmutter, D., 56
metathesis, 37-38, 49 Philippine, 82, 165
modality verbs, 43, 140n. See phonology, 22-25
also self-manipulation verbs plural nouns, 28, 73n, 79n, 83,
modification, 29, 166n, 179 86n, 112, 212
morphology, 25-56 Postal, P., 56
pragmatic constraint, 174, 181,
nasal assimilation, 28, 38, 51 211n. See also pragmatic
Naylor, P.B., 82 function
Nez Perce, 128 pragmatic function, 1, 2, 5n, 11,
nominalization, 1, 30, 33, 46-49, 50, 57, 72, 75, 77, 85, 89, 110,
77, 139n, 159n, 167, 176-179, 112, 116n, 128n, 139, 169.
210; bare nominalization, See also pragmatic constraint
176n presupposition, 162n, 174n, 209
non-finite constructions, 1, 148, promotion, 128; promotional
151, 155, 210n. See also erga- suffix, 51, 56, 177
tive infix pronoun, 3, 31, 35, 59, 77, 83,
non-referential, 66, 69, 71, 75, 85n, 89, 92n, 161, 212; absolu-
117n tive, 31; emphatic, 31-32;
indefinite, 111; independent,
244 Index

90, 94, 95; possessive, 33 Silverstein, M., 4


singular referents, 73, 78, 81,
quantitative method, 12n, 58, 86n
85, 92, 95, 103, 109, 118, 128, speaker's intention, 15
182, 211 stative, 37, 81, 82, 178
stress rule, 24, 52
referents: first person, 20, 93n, subject, 2, 17n, 26, 29n, 43n, 49,
112; second person, 20, 93n, 53n, 66n, 73, 76, 79, 80n,
109n, 112; third person, 20, 144n, 161, 170n, 184n, 190,
81, 83n, 92n, 95, 109n. See 21 In; underlying subject, 159
also pronouns subject coding, 183-192
referential continuity, 12, 13, 66, subject inversion, 193-208
68, 193n; referential distance, syntactic: coding device, 3n, 59,
13n, 58n, 80, 86n, 93n, 103, 67n, 77, 86, 89, 91, 93, 108,
107, 118, 186n, 200n 116, 139n, 182, 192; con-
Reid, L.A., 82 straints, 169n; conservatism,
relative clauses, 2, 43, 46, 49, 165; transitivity, In, 6, 34n,
139, 157-179, 210n 51, 57, 61, 67, 71n, 75n, 80n,
Rude, N., 128 88, 91, 121, 126, 128, 170,
210n
Safford, W., 41, 56
salience, 97, 102, 129, 134 Tagalog, 82, 165
Schachter, P., 139, 157, 162, Takizala, A. 157
165, 172 thematic continuity, 12, 182-
self-manipulation verbs, 140n, 209, 212n
148-153, 155n. See alto thematicity, l l n , 72, 182-209,
modality verbs 211
semantic: case roles, 3, 17n, 80, Thompson, S.A., 2n, 9, 71, 76,
103, 105, 107, 112, 128, 161, 116n, 181
177, 192, 213; constraints, Timberlake, ., 3, 85
170n, 211n See also semantic Tomlin, R., 77
function; features, 2, 75, 109, Tongan,121
120; 109, 120; function, 11, topic, 3, 4, 13n; primary, 19;
50, 57, 77, 116n, 139n; transi- secondary, 19; topic con-
tivity, 2, 57, 126n, 130, 170, tinuity, 12, 14, 59, 182, 188,
183 191, 211n; topic persistence,
sentential complements, 139, 13n, 58n, 80, 86n, 93n, 118,
210n. See also complement 200n; topic shift, 103n, 182n,
constructions 189-190, 204-205; topic
Sgall, P., 13 worthiness, 4, 5, 88, 89
short term memory, 14 topicality, l l n , 15, 58n, 61, 66,
Index 245

6811, 80, 82n; degree of, 4, 6, Van Valin, R.D., Jr., 1


12n, 19n, 60, 66n, 85, 89, 95,
98, 109, 119, 128, 182. See WH-questions, 2, 44, 47, 49,
aleo topic continuity 128n, 139, 157-179, 210n
Topping, D., 22, 23, 41, 56, 158 Witucky, J., 23
transitive propositions, In, 6, word order, 48, 55n, 157, 161n,
12, 57, 67, 77, 86, 88, 92, 116, 170, 182, 192-208
118, 124, 182, 208, 210n
transitivity: degree of, 2, 4, 116,
121, 126, 128