Combining clauses in Taba
John Bowden
Jakarta Field Station
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology
Taba – some background
• South Halmahera West New Guinea language
– Closest relations in Indonesia to Oceanic group
• 40,000 or so speakers language still quite
vibrant
• AVO language with very little interest in
grammatical ‘control’
• Mixed split-S / accusative system
Tightness of bonding
• Clauses joined in looser or tighter ways
- Paratactic sequences of clauses (loose bond)
(1)
Lhan
appo
lyoa
daerah
l=han
ap-po
l=yoa
daerah
3pl=go ALL-down
Gitan
3pl=search
area
for
Gitan,
Gitan
aman
aman
safe
‘They went down to Gitan, they were looking
somewhere safe.’
–Complement clause (tight bond)
(2)
Ni
suka
Structure of talk
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Parataxis
‘Co-ordinating’ conjunctions
‘Subordinating’ conjunctions
Complement clauses
Relativisation
Iconicity in multiclausal constructions
‘Discourse connectors’
Parataxis
• No overtly semantic relationship between
clauses signalled by any specific conjunctions
but a variety of different implicatures occur.
Some of the most common examples include:
• Temporal relations
• Causal relations
• Conditional readings
• ‘Clause chaining’
Temporal sequence in parataxis
(3) Amul
am
lama
Taba,
a=mul
am
la-ma
Taba
1pl.excl=return
1pl.excl
sea-VEN
Makian
ayol
sagala
a=yol
sagala
1pl.excl=fetchstuff
‘We returned from seawards (i.e. Moti island) to Makian and we
fetched
stuff.’
(3) Nwom nidi
um li tesu,
n=wom ni-di
umli te-su
3sg=come POSS-3pl house LOC
NEG-POT
taplod haso
nak
ta-plod ha=so
nak
DETR-erupt CLASS=one again
‘He hadn’t yet arrived at their house when it erupted once again.’
Causality in parataxis
(5)
(6)
Ktala
yotas
tesu,
kpe
tesu.
k=tala yotas
te-su
k=pe
te-su
1sg=find thatch NEG-POT 1sg=make NEG-POT
‘But I haven't found any thatch yet, so I haven't made it
yet.’
Di
suka lpili
mon
maleo,
di
suka l=pili
mon
maleo
3pl.POSS desire3pl=choose husband other
mta’at
m=ta’at
2sg=be.obedient
mtagal
m=tagal
2sg=perch
‘They want to choose a different man, you remain obedient.’
Conditional readings
(7) Masyarakat masure, ncol
masyarakat masure n=sol
people
be.good 3sg=be.wrong
lmaka
haluso
l=maka
ha-lusa-o
3pl=RECIP CAUS-say-APPL
‘If people are good, when something is wrong, they
will tell each other.’ / ‘Because people are good,
when something is wrong they will tell each other.’
Clause chaining
(8) Yol
yol
fetch
sagala okik,
saplik
sagala okik
sapil-Vk
stuff be.finished board-APPL
okik,
si lhan, yak e ktongo
okik
si l=han yak e
k=tongo
be.finished 3pl 3pl=go 1sg FOC 1sg=stay
ane
a-ne
DEM-PROX
‘Fetching stuff finished, stowing it on board finished,
they go, as for me, I stay here.’
‘Co-ordinating’ conjunctions
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
lo
ada
ma / mai / me
pa
malai
turus
tapi
‘and’
‘and’
‘but’
‘or’
‘then’
‘then straight away’
‘but’
lo ‘and’
(9) Lhan
appo
dumik
lo
l=han
ap-po
dumik
lo
3pl=go ALL-down be.complete and
mamatuosi
lhan
dumik
mamatuo=si l=han
dumik
old.people=PL 3pl=go be.complete
wang gulo myasi lo
wang gulo myasi lo
child baby small and
‘They went down and babies, children and old people all went.’
•Similar pragmatic readings available as with parataxis
(10) Mina namtat
lo nayok
Mina n=ha-mtat lo n=ha-yok
Mina 3sg=CAUS-fall and 3sg=CAUS-cry
‘Mina fell over and cried.’
ada ‘and’
(11) Indadimu
indadi-mu
so-then
lomo
lomo
other
lmul
ne
ada
l=mul
ne
ada
3pl=return PROX and
latala
hu
l=ha-tala
hu
3pl=CAUS-meetCONT
‘So some have come back now and they met up with each other
again.’
•
Similarities and differences between lo and ada
– Both can be used to conjoin either clauses or NPs (like English ‘and’)
but lo more common with NPs and ada more common with clauses
– Similar pragmatic readings available with the use of both conjunctions
ma / mai / me ‘but’
• The forms seem to be in free variation
(12) Lhan me lalusa
lhan
te
l=han
me l=ha-lusa
l=han
te
3pl=go
but 3pl=CAUS-say 3pl=go
NEG
‘They went but they said they didn't go.’
pa ‘or’
• Like lo and ada can be used to conjoin both
NPs and clauses
(13) Ntongo Keten
pa ntongo
Tarnate?
n=tongo Keten
pa n=tongo
Tarnate
3sg=live Moti or
3sg=live
Ternate
‘She either lives on Moti or she lives
malai ‘then’
• (14) Lmaka
yoa,
l=maka
yoa
3pl=RECIP search
malai lmaka
tala,
malai l=maka
tala
then 3pl=RECIP meet
lmaka
buak malai layok
l=maka
buak malai l=ayok
3pl=RECIP hug then 3pl=cry
‘They looked for each other then they met up;
they hugged each other then they cried.’
turus ‘then straight away’ and tapi
‘but’
• turus ‘then straight away’
(15)
Ulan kwat turus
ulan
kwat turus
rain
EMPH then
ni
ni
3sg.POSS
kihis
kihis
flood
ncopang
n=sopang
3sg=descend
‘There was strong rain and straight away a flood descended.’
• tapi ‘but’
(16)
Tasakal
tapi
lloci
te
ta-sakal
tapi
lloci
te
DETR-smash
but
a.lot NEG
‘Stuff was smashed up but not a lot.’
‘Subordinating’ conjunctions
•
•
•
•
•
•
de
polo
tutik(ma)
ndadi
karna
sabab
‘in order that / so that’
‘if / when’
‘until’
‘so’
‘because’
‘because’
de ‘in order that’
(17) Ktoban
hadala
de
kadala.
k=toban
ha-dala
de
k=ha-dala
1sg=wait CAUS-breakfast(breakfast) RES 1sg=CAUS-breakfast
‘I wait for breakfast (to be ready) so I can eat breakfast.’
(18) Direct reported speech
Nculak
wangsi hmul
n=sul-ak
wang=si h=mul
3sg=order-APPL child=PL 2pl=return
‘He told the children “Go home!”.’
akle!
ak-le
ALL-land
(19) Indirect reported speech (de as complementiser)
Nculak
wangsi
de
n=sul-ak
wang=si
de
3sg=order-APPL child=PL
RES
‘He told the children to go home.’
lmul
l=mul
3pl=return
akle
ak-le
ALL-land
polo ‘if / when’
(20)
Ine
polo tpe
tadia,
ni
sso
tapa
i-ne
polo t=pe
ta-dia
ni
sso
tapa
DEM-PROX if
1pl.incl=make SIM-REM POSS name thatch
This, if we make it like this, it’s called ‘tapa’ (thatch).’
(21)Direct reported speech
Yakkkutani ‘mhan
appo
pa te?
yakk=kutan i m=han ap-po
pa te
1sg1sg=ask 3sg2sg=go ALL-down or NEG
‘I asked him “are you going down (to Ternate) or not?”.’
(22)Indirect reported speech
Yakkkutani polo nhan appo
pa te
yakk=kutan i polo n=han ap-po
pa te
1sg1sg=ask 3sgif 3sg=go ALL-down or NEG
‘I asked him whether he was going down (to Ternate) or not.’
tutik(ma) ‘until’ and ndadi ‘so’
(23) Ngan
ngan
day
ngan
ngan
day
nlah
n=lah
3sg=grow
nlah,
n=lah
3sg=grow
tutikma llocisi
tutikma lloci=si
until
many=PL
‘Day by day it grew and it grew, until there were a lot of people.’
(24) Ni
ni
3sg.POSS
reng tadopas
ndadi
reng ta-dopas
ndadi
seal DETR-perish so
ol ncopalik.
ol n=sopal-ik
oil 3sg=grow.out-APPL
‘Its seal is perished so oil leaks out of it.’
ni
ni
3sg.POSS
karna / sabab ‘because’
(25)
Karna
au
ya
mnagara
aboyam,
karna
au
ya
m=nagara
aboyam
because 2sgREC 2sg=be.cleverfishing
mot
lloci
m=ot
lloci
2sg=catch many
‘Because you had are good at fishing, you caught a lot of fish.’
(26)
Kbahagia
k=bahagia
1sg=be.happy
kwat,
kwat
be.strong
sabab
au
masi
sabab
au
masi
because 2sgstill
mtanoan yak
m=tanoanyak
2sg=remember 1sg
‘I’m really happy because you still remember me.’
Complement clauses
• As in most languages there are a range of verbs that take
complement clauses including verbs of perception, belief,
speech, desire, etc.
(27)
Kbafikir
ndadi
k=bafikir
n=dadi
1sg=think
3sg=become NEG
‘I think it won’t work.’
te
te
(28)
Ni
kmul
k=mul
ni
suka
suka
3sg.POSS
desire 1sg=return
‘She wants me to come back.’
Relative clauses
• Just one example because there is no time to deal
with this in detail
(29) Lcayang
mamatuosi
ltagil
l=sayang
mamatuo=si
l=tagil
3pl=love
old.people=PL
3pl=walk
walk any
lahates
do
l=ahates
do
3pl=impossible REAL
‘They loved the old people who can't
Iconicity in multiclausal constructions
• It is noteworthy that most multiclausal constructions occur
with the relative ordering of clauses in the order they
occurred (or hypothetically occurred) rather than in the
opposite order.
(30) Polo ulan tane,
Yase
buko kwat.
polo ulan ta-ne
ya-se buko kwat
if
rain SIM-PROX up-ESS noise be.strong
‘If it’s raining like this, there will be a lot of noise above.’
(31) (From a pop song)
Krasa
mapot polo
koik
au
k=rasa
mapot polo
k=oik
au
1sg=feel heavy when
1sg=leave.behind 2sg
‘I (my heart) will feel(s) heavy if I leave you.’
Cause and result
(32) He went to the shop because he had run out of cigarettes.
(33)He had run out of cigarettes so he went to the shop.
(34)
(35)
Ni
tabako
dumik
do
ni
tabako
dumik
do
3sg.POSS cigarettes be.exhausted REAL
ndadi nhan appo
ndadi n=han ap-po
so 3 sg=go ALL-down
toko li
toko li
shop LOC
Nhan appo
toko
n=han ap-po
toko
3sg=go ALL-down shop
ni
tabako
ni
tabako
3sg.POSS cigarettes
dumik
dumik
be.finished
do
do
REAL
li
li
LOC
karna
karna
because
‘Discourse connectors’
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
mai / me
malai
(i)ndadi(mu)
odo
tutik(ma)
pu pu ma
de (supaya)
turus
tapi
karna
tee
‘contrary to indications’
‘then’
‘and so’
‘on the other hand’
‘until / and then / eventually’
‘but what if’
‘eventually’
‘so then’
‘but’
‘because’
‘if not’
Many discourse connectors have the
same forms as conjunctions
• Role of discourse connectors is not to link one clause with another
but to link one clause with an indeterminate amount of preceding
material. I give just a couple of examples:
(36)
Bonci
hu.
kutu hu
(37)
ine...
bonci
Mai
i-ne
kutu-kutu
mai
kutu-
peanut DEM-PROX
but
small-small
‘These are peanuts. But they’re still small.’
CONT
Gamos hu,
woya nantobi.
Turus kaklida idia.
gamos hu
woya n=an-tobi
turus kaklida i-dia
dry
CONT water 3sg=INCH-descend
then hard
DM-RM
‘While it’s still drying there’s water falling out of it.
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Combining clauses in Taba