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Fernando, Madra S. (1973) The syntax of complex sentences in Sinhalese. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London.

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Abstract

This thesis discusses the syntax of complex sentences in Sinhalese within the framework of a generative transformational theory of grammar as outlined in Chomsky (1957), and since developed by him and others. The particular model for this study is the 'Standard Theory' of Chomsky (1965). The Introduction outlines the theoretical framework of the study, and gives a brief description of Sinhalese. The particular variety of Sinhalese discussed is specified, and an account of the linguistic investigation of Sinhalese given. Chapter 2 presents a phrase structure grammar capable of generating simple sentences in Sinhalese. Chapter 3 introduces one of the principal mechanisms of complex sentence formation, relativisation. It is demonstrated that the processes of relativisation suffice to derive several types of nominal modifiers. Chapter 4 introduces another major recursive mechanism, complementation. Several types of complement constructions are discussed, and the majority are shown to be NP complements. A few types appear to be VP complements, but conditions are suggested under which they could be considered NP complements. Chapters 5 to 8 examine a series of special constructions. All except one are shown to be derived from complex underlying structures, and it is demonstrated that the general principles of complementation can handle all these. It is argued that pseudo-cleft sentences however, are derived from underlying simple sentences. Chapter 5 deals with modal constructions. Chapter 6 with involitive sentences. Chapter 7 with causative sentences, and Chapter 8 with sentences of emphatic assertion and negation, and pseudo-cleft constructions. Chapter 9 examines a third major recursive mechanism, conjunction. Chapter 10 introduces adverbials, and examines tentatively the suggestion that few additional rules are required to account for such constructions. Finally, Chapter 11 discusses, again tentatively, a rather different type of complex sentence, comparative constructions.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:11
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29331

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