Arka 2016: Information structure and its morphosyntactic resources in Marori

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This paper will discuss information structure in Marori (also known as Morori/Moraori; ISO 639-3: mok; a subgroup-level isolate, TNG/Papuan, highly endangered, with 16 fluent speakers), focusing on alternative realisations of clausal dependants, which correlate with their pragmatic functions, and the morphosyntactic resources so employed.

Findings from natural texts confirm that the head-final structure (S-V/A-P-V) is the unmarked structure in Marori, and that different nominal types have different pragmatic distributions. Overt pronominal and non-pronominal NPs serve as primary/reintroduced topics (TOP) and as secondary as well as contrastive TOP/FOC(us). Continuing TOP is, however, expressed by verbal agreement with elided NPs. Generic reference must be expressed overtly by a non-pronominal NP and shows rigid word order.