1887
Volume 41, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Abstract

Tongan is an Oceanic language belonging to the Polynesian subgroup. Based on previous work ( Churchward 1953 , Tchekhoff 1981 , Broschart 1997 ), Tongan has been classified as a 'flexible' language by various typological approaches on word classes ( Hengeveld 1992 , Rijkhoff 1998 , Croft 2001 ). This means that lexical items are per se not categorised in terms of major word classes, but they can function as noun, verb, adjective and manner adverb without morphosyntactic derivation. However, not all lexemes are entirely flexible occurring within all these constructions. So the crucial issue of how flexible Tongan really is remains. This question will be addressed by a survey based on a combination of syntactic and semantic word class criteria – basically following Croft's prototype approach ( 2000 , 2001 ) but also considering Hengeveld & Rijkhoff's work ( Hengeveld 1992 , Hengeveld, Rijkhoff & Siewierska 2004 , Hengeveld 2013 ) Evans & Osada's work (2005) . It reveals the scope of lexical flexibility for various lexemes and semantic groups.

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2017-09-19
2019-12-14
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): lexical flexibility , Tongan and word classes
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