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Interrogative Constructions in Plngawan Atayal

By 施姵如 and Cindy Peiru Shih


[[abstract]]This thesis investigates both the morphosyntax and intonation of interrogative constructions in Plngawan Atayal, a C’uli’ Atayal dialect spoken in Ren-ai Township, Nantou County. In the study, four types of interrogative sentences are identified, including yes-no questions, tag questions, alternative questions and information questions. They differ from each other in terms of the piece of information being inquired, strategies being used, and intonation contours. With respect to the morphosyntax of interrogative sentences, it is pointed out that (i) most yes-no questions are formed via contour modification that occurs within the last two syllables of declarative sentences, (ii) yes-no questions may also be formed by means of the question particle ya’ that occurs sentence-initially, while the question tag ’aw in tag questions has to appear sentence-finally, (iii) alternative questions are analyzed as the juxtaposition of a phonologically-marked yes-no question and a ya’-initiated yes-no question; besides, only forward deletion is allowed in Plngawan, and (iv) interrogative words used to form information questions may be divided into interrogative nouns and interrogative verbs based on their morphosyntactic characteristics. In terms of distribution of interrogative words, Plngawan Atayal is classified as an optional-fronting language that observes the subject-sensitive constraint. Intonational phenomena of various interrogative sentences are also investigated, including (i) relations among syllable structure, stress pattern, gender and contour modification of yes-no questions, (ii) influences of ya’ and ’aw on contours of yes-no and tag questions as well as the phenomenon of downdrift suspension, (iii) influences of the predicate/non-predicate distinction on intonational behaviors of ya’ in alternative questions, and (iv) influences of syllable structure and position in a sentence of interrogative words on contours of information questions. Furthermore, it is found that intonation in Plngawan may exhibit at least four functions: (i) distinguishing among various illocutionary forces, e.g. to turn a statement into a yes-no question, (ii) differentiating among types of interrogative sentences, (iii) deriving non-question readings of interrogative sentences, e.g. indefinite, rhetorical question, exclamation and hesitation, and (iv) enabling speakers to express attitudinal implications while asking questions, e.g. threatening, emphasis and impatience.

Topics: 疑問句結構;萬大泰雅語;台灣南島語言;是非問句;選擇問句;附加問句;訊息問句;構詞句法;語調;選擇性前置;主語感應限制;重音形式;語調下降終止, Interrogative constructions;Plngawan Atayal;Formosan languages;yes-no questions;alternative questions;tag questions;information questions;morphosyntax;intonation;optional fronting;subject sensitive constraint;stress pattern;downdrift suspension, [[classification]]30
Year: 2011
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