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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Yimas is a language of the Lower Sepik family of six languages spoken along the lower reaches of the Sepik River in the northern lowlands of Papua New Guinea. All six languages are quite morphologically complex head-marking languages, but Yimas is the most complex and cross-linguistically a good candidate for categorizing as a ‘polysynthetic language’. It has eight prefix positions preceding the verb stem and five following it, and is a ‘triple agreement language’, that is, it exhibits pronominal agreement affixes for all core arguments of a ditransitive verb. Yimas also makes heavy use of incorporation: a wide array of adjuncts are incorporated into the verb, and in most cases,non-incorporated alternatives are not available. However, Yimas differs from what has been claimed to be typical of polysynthetic languages in its heavy usage of subordination and nonfinite nominalization. This chapter addresses the place of Yimas in an overall typology of polysynthesis.

Keywords: head marking, agreement, polysynthesis, triple agreement, incorporation, nonfinite

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