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|Title:||Argument-Function Linking in Yami:An Optimality-Theoretic Account|
|Issue Date:||2009-09-17 16:28:35 (UTC+8)|
This thesis studies the problem of argument-function linking in Yami and makes the fundamental claim that linking in Yami shows an ergative pattern, quite different from that in accusative languages, such as Mandarin and English. The linking phenomenon in Yami is complicated by its special voice system. Existing linking theories do not account for Yami straightforwardly. In trying to find a framework that can handle the Yami data, we find the flexibility of Optimality Theory a promising solution. The first part of this thesis is a description of the argument-function linking pattern in Yami and the proper place of the voice system is also discussed. And then we review several grammatical theories on linking. Both transformation-based theories and lexicalist theories are examined. We will demonstrate how these theories fail to account for linking in Yami in a straightforward manner. Thus we provide an optimality-theoretic account based on the lexical mapping theory of Lexical-Functional Grammar. This newly developed framework is applied not only to the Yami data but also to the relevant Mandarin and English data. It is claimed that this framework can accommodate all three different languages.
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