[Clause linkage and Nexus in Papuan languages, Part I. Syntactic terminology and typological methods]

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Interclausal relations in Papuan languages and in particular their prototypical clause chaining structures have long presented serious descriptive problems. These have been analyzed variously as instances of subordination, coordination, and even a third unique type of relationship, cosubordination. This paper argues that clause chaining structures are actually a type of coordination, but distinguished from familiar types of coordination by the type of constituent coordinated, S versus IP. The parametric variation found in clause chaining constructions across Papuan languages is in turn accounted for in terms of the types of functional heads of verbal inflections, negation, mood, tense, illocutionary force, which head the individual IPs conjoined in clause chains.


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