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Ball, Douglas: ``VP'' Adverbs without a VP: The syntax of adverbs in Tongan

The Polynesian language Tongan appears to lack surface-oriented motivation for a VP constituent. Even so, adverbial elements appear in both a rightwards location and a leftwards location, superficially similar to the S-adverbs and VP-adverbs in well-studied western European languages. This paper explores how the Tongan ''VP-adverbs'' (as well as others) can be analyzed in HPSG without a VP for those adverbs to attach to. Several kinds of analyses, representing different strands of research on the syntax of adjuncts in HPSG, are explored: a Adjuncts-as-Valents analysis, a VAL-sensitive Adjuncts-as-Selectors analysis, and a WEIGHT-sensitive Adjuncts-as-Selectors analysis. All suggest that an analysis of the adverbs without a VP is possible; a WEIGHT-sensitive Adjuncts-as-Selectors seems to have the fewest issues.

Maintained by Stefan Müller

Created: October 15, 2017
Last modified: January 09, 2019

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