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O'Brien, Daniel (1975) Control and Subsidiarity in the Tonga Verb. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The title of the thesis is the name for a method devised to describe the different uses of tense forms in Tonga. Tense forms may be said to have different functions and time references depending on their position in the sentence or discourse. The starting point for the description of the function and time reference of the tense form is its use in simple statements and questions. When data from a wider context was examined it proved necessary to allow a number of different time references and functions to several tense forms. In some instances, the function, in non-initiating position, could be described as an aspect of its use in initiating position, in others, however, there appeared to be an even more radical difference of function and time reference. In the case of the Subjunctive or Dependent forms, when used in subsidiary or non-initiating position, these are describeable as narrative forms, here termed 'bridging' since they indicate that one action is terminated and another is about to take place. Since these forms are never used in initiating position the term 'Fixed Function Subsidiarity' has been coined to describe their use. In addition, such forms as nomino-verbals, e.g., the infinitives, which are not morphologically marked for person or tense, must sometimes be interpreted as having a tense function in discourse. Subject and tense markers, are, in these cases, understood to be the same as those of the controlling tense form. Tonga use of the many tense forms of the language and the multiple application of some particular tense forms has been described in terms of Control and Subsidiarity. In this method of description non-initiating or subsidiary tense forms within a sentence or discourse are described as dependent for their time reference and function on.;tense form controlling the sentence or discourse.A control may be of two kinds: (1) setting up a time reference relative to the speaker and listener, or (2) providing a framework within which the non-initiating tanse form or nomino-verbal functions.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00

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