A grammar of Savosavo: A Papuan language of the Solomon Islands

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Many heartfelt thanks to Ulrike Mosel for her support and understanding in all situations.

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Her enthusiasm for linguistics and fieldwork, her pragmatic mind and her gift to fully immerse herself in a linguistic text and linguistic data have never ceased to amaze me, and were invaluable in vii keeping me going through hard times. Angela Terrill supervised me during the first year of my PhD, and I am very grateful to her for her guidance during that time, including but of course not limited to advice on what to take and not to take on fieldwork but I still take a scarf with me every time I go.

Michael Dunn supervised me during the rest of my PhD time, and provided many a helpful comment and beautiful maps up to the very end. He was also the one who gave me my first Solomon Islands Pijin lessons and helped me set up my field site, together with Robert Foley and Marta Mirazon-Lahr. I really appreciated their support during my first week in Honiara and my first days on Savo. Many thanks also to Ger Reesink, who was always happy to discuss my data and had many helpful comments.

I would also like to thank Prof. Christian Lehmann. My decision to study linguistics and to do fieldwork in remote areas of the world was taken in a flash. Curious about what linguistics was, I had ambled into Prof. I went to enroll right after the course. I am also very grateful to Gunter Senft, who supported and encouraged me during the last years of my studies in Bielefeld, and all through the PhD period.

I am also very grateful to Prof. Dieter Metzing, for employing me after my M.

Thanks also to Jidong Chen for being a great housemate for my first few months in Nijmegen, and to my other fellow PhDs, then and now. Stuart and Rupe, thanks for the wonderful pizza-and-CSI-evenings! At the institute, I would also like to thank Edith for her support through occasional emergencies and stressful periods. Jan Achterberg drove me to the airport several times on my way to the field, and picked me up when I came back, and he was always cheerful and viii just really, really nice - Hartelijk bedankt!

Thanks also to the administration and to the technical group, in particular to Rick van Viersen, Alex Dukers and Ad Verbunt. Outside of the institute, I am very grateful that I had the chance to be part of the Kendoverein Kevelaer. It was wonderful and tremendously beneficial to my mental health to be able to forget all about my work for a few hours. I would like to thank Eva Schultze-Berndt and Bernhard Hurch for giving me the opportunity to work there.

Eva, thanks also for helping me to settle in, sharing your apartment and your piano with me, helping me to move into an apartment on the fourth floor not a small task! Thanks also to Felicity Meakins, who was my officemate for a few months, and also became a very good friend. I would like to thank my colleagues in Graz, especially Dieter Hallwachs and Veronika Mattes, and the students who attended my classes, and sometimes challenged me with very tricky questions.

That my time in Graz will always be a wonderful memory is also due to my friends Bettina Kluge and Alexandra Slattenschek. Thanks also to Bertrand, Marietta and the other regulars in the university sports group. Bertrand was the first to ever send me a text message in Savosavo - many thanks for that!


A Grammar of Savosavo by Claudia Wegener -

After spending one year and a half in Graz, I came back to Nijmegen for six months. Thanks to Niclas, Heike, Linn and Nils Burenhult, for sharing their home and family life with me for some weeks, and for being such good friends.

I am also very grateful to Loretta and Arnold, and to Gertie, for letting me stay with them for a while and for their continuous support, in work-related as well as private matters. Thanks to Gertie also for the translation of the summary into Dutch. Many thanks also to Nick Wood, for always having an open ear and being a good friend.

And many thanks for the whisky! There are some more people I have to thank. Stefanie Gaidies was and is one of my best friends. Steff, I am immensely grateful that you were always there for me, even though our lives became very different. Thanks also to Sebastian Fedden, for reading my whole thesis draft, for being a great house- and officemate for some months in Nijmegen, and in general for being one of my best friends.

Finally, and most of all, I would like to thank my family. My mother Ursula Wegener and my sister Carmen Hesse always supported me in every imaginable way and never ceased to believe in me. Typological profile. Previous work on Savosavo. The nature of the data used in this thesis. Orthography and conventions used in examples. Postpositions and postpositional phrases.


Apprehensive clauses. Consonants: minimal or near-minimal sets. Phonemes: vowels and diphthong. Vowels: minimal sets.

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Vowels: vowel combinations. Stress patterns. Influence of bound morphemes on root stress. Transitive verbs: closed classes. Transitive verbs: suffixing stems. Object marking affixes with examples.

Verbs marking their object by stem modification. Nouns: animate referents of one specific sex. Canonical and non-canonical adjectives and intransitive verbs. Free personal pronouns with syntactically conditioned alternative forms Clitic nominative personal pronouns. Possessive pronouns. Determiner paradigm. Third person personal pronouns. Adverbial and attributive forms of the locationals.

The proprietive marker lava.

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Structure of an NP headed by a noun. Structure of a headless NP with an adjective. Forms of number-marking constituents of NPs. Syntactic functions of case categories: Summary. Means of expression of case categories. The nominative case markers. Genitive suffix paradigm. Combinability of ta, -ale and -ata. Object marking affixes. Proximal third person pronouns. Interrogative proforms. Types of adverbial clause.

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Functions of conditional subordinating morphemes. Functions of temporal subordinating morphemes. Nominal modifiers commonly used to modify nominalized propositions.