Arguments and information management in Inuktitut

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Research on a variety of structurally different languages suggests that information packaging is assigned to grammatical form via preferred representations of arguments. According to the <i>Preferred Argument Structure Hypothesis</i> (PAS), these preferences can be captured by four interacting constraints. Since polysynthetic languages are not under the hegemony of syntax, the constraints concerning grammatical form must be reconsidered. In Inuktitut, arguments of predicates are represented morphologically, and in the vast majority of instances, they are not specified by independent lexical items. Incorporation, on the other hand, represents the established domain for lexical representation of arguments. In Inuktitut, and probably in other polysynthetic languages, information structure manifests itself within the domain of the polysynthetic word. Information structure thus manifests itself wherever grammatical configuration occurs.


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