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9. Asymmetry reversal

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Abstract

Subordination is sometimes said to be characterized by a cognitive asymmetry between a matrix clause and its complement clause: the matrix clause is the profile determinant (Langacker 1991); the state of affairs expressed in the matrix clause but not the one expressed in the subordinate clause is (pragmatically) asserted (Cristofaro 2003).This paper discusses a situation in Toqabaqita, an Austronesian language, where erstwhile bi-clausal structures have been restructured as mono-clausal ones. Has the original asymmetry undergone a change? And how could one tell?<br />There is a danger in relying exclusively on linguistic structures when dealing with cognitive asymmetry between states of affairs. There should be other kinds of evidence whether such asymmetry does or does not exist.

References

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