A reference grammar of Menya : an Angan language of Papua by by Carl Robert Whitehead.

By by Carl Robert Whitehead.

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These devices are particularly frequent at sentence boundaries though they are by no means rare in the middle of a sentence. In (25), the two time phrases constitute the frame and three phrases follow the verb which still leaves three arguments within the clause27. ’ 26 Order being determined by topicality factors (Halliday’s psychological) and their default assignment matching grammatical functions. 27 This clause is still very heavy and could possibly be explained by claiming that a purpose clause ‘for Shem and I to go to Nadzab by jet’ has been postposed and its verb omitted leaving the three NPs stranded after the main clause.

In order to maintain this controlled rate of information flow, one or more of the nominal elements are often specified within the sentence frame preceding the actual clause, or provided after the verb, as if they were afterthoughts. These devices are particularly frequent at sentence boundaries though they are by no means rare in the middle of a sentence. In (25), the two time phrases constitute the frame and three phrases follow the verb which still leaves three arguments within the clause27. ’ 26 Order being determined by topicality factors (Halliday’s psychological) and their default assignment matching grammatical functions.

Three degrees of past tense are distinguished but only on finite verbs. They are encoded in the form of portmanteau morphemes (that also indicate aspect) in combination with two distinct sets of actor suffixes. These two sets of actor suffixes indicate a contrast in the degree of relevance of the event to the speech act, one application of this contrast being to encode the difference between present and near past predications. ’ The primary aspectual distinction is between perfective and imperfective, which reflects the speaker’s choice as to whether or not to focus attention on the internal temporal complexity of the proposition being encoded (Comrie 1976:21-24).

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