Volume 47, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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The present work attempts to examine the relationship between grammar and discourse. (i) First, it compares Warrongo (an ergative language that has antipassives and an S/O pivot) and English (an accusative language that has passives and an S/A pivot). Despite these polar opposite morphosyntactic characteristics, Warrongo and English behave almost in the same way in discourse – in terms of new mentions, lexical mentions and topic continuity. There are, however, two differences in discourse. First, Warrongo antipassives and S/O pivot have much higher functional loads than English passives and S/A pivot. Second, Warrongo antipassives have a use that English passives do not have. (ii) Then, the present work shows that grammar and discourse are not independent of each other and that they share one principle. The hierarchy of “O > S > A” is attested in grammar and discourse crosslinguistically and irrespective of the morphosyntactic types of the languages concerned.


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