Put and Take in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island

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This paper describes the linguistic treatment of placement events in the Rossel Island (Papua New Guinea) language Yélî Dnye. Yélî Dnye is unusual in treating PUT and TAKE events symmetrically with a remarkable consistency. In what follows, we first provide a brief background for the language, then describe the six core PUT/TAKE verbs that were drawn upon by Yélî Dnye speakers to describe the great majority of the PUT/TAKE stimuli clips, along with some of their grammatical properties. In Section 5 we describe alternative verbs usable in particular circumstances and give an indication of the basis for variability in responses across speakers. Section 6 presents some reasons why the Yélî verb pattern for expressing PUT and TAKE events is of broad interest.


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