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On Rotuman
Author: M. den Dikken - M.R. Mua
Publisher: Uz-Translations
Publication date: 2009
Number of pages: 211

Format / Quality: PDF - Excellent
Size: 8.2 Mb
Two theses on Rotuman:

1. The structure of the noun-phrase in Rotuman, by M. den Dikken,

2. Rotuman migration to the Torres Strait, my M. R. Mua

While the second thesis is self-explanatory, the first one requires some explanation. Here is the abstract:

Rotuman is a Polynesian SVO isolate spoken by a total of approx. 9,000 people (Vamarasi 2002) on the island
of Rotuma, the geographically close Fiji Islands, and in the diaspora.

It has no close relatives, and it is syntactically quite different in many respects from the languages in its geographical vicinity (such as Fijian, Niuean, Samoan and Tongan).

According to Churchward (1940), whose seminal grammar and dictionary is the primary source of information on the language, Rotuman has both Polynesian and Melanesian traits (see Churchward 1940:159–64 for some discussion).

Though phonologists have tried for several decades to unravel the secrets of the most eye-catching property of Rotuman (the distinction it makes between a so-called ‘complete’ and an ‘incomplete’ phase, following Churchward’ s 1940 nomenclature), the syntax of Rotuman has not been the subject of detailed investigation in the theoretical literature, despite the existence of a detailed grammar and dictionary of the language (Churchward 1940) and the fact, to be substantiated in detail in what follows, that the syntax of Rotuman has a great deal to offer to the syntactician.

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