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Omar, Asmah H. (1969) The Iban language of Sarawak: A grammatical description. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is a grammatical study of Iban, an Austronesian language, spoken in Sarawak, Malaysia. It commences with an account of the background of the people and their language, the aim and scope of the thesis, the collection of data and the method of describing the grammar. Although the theme of the thesis is grammar, a chapter on phonology is included to justify the phonemic transcription of the examples given, and to elucidate certain statements on the morphological characteristics of Iban. Only a brief account of the various intonation types is given. The grammatical description begins in Chapter 3, which treats the morphology of the language. The bound morphemes, comprising prefixes and one suffix, are classified into verbal and nominal morphemes. Reduplication is a morphological characteristics of the verbals and the nominals. Chapter 4 classifies words into verbals, nominals and function words. These classes are divided into subclasses which can undergo further subclassification or cross-classification. Chapter 5 discusses the phrases: endocentric and exocentric, simple and complex. Complex phrases are formed by co-occurrence, embedding and conjoining. The latter two processes result in subordinative and co-ordinative complex phrases. All these phrases are classified into verbal, nominal and adverb phrases, which are then divided into types and subtypes. The simple and complex sentences acct discussed in Chapters 6 and 7. The simple sentences fall into four major types: declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclama-tive. The subordinative complex sentences, formed by embedding, are considered according to the classes their subordinate clauses enter: adjectival, nominal or adverbial. Like the co-ordinative complex phrases, the co-ordinative complex sentences are described in terms of their types of conjoining, by co-ordinating conjunctions or parataxis. Chapter 8 discusses the minor sentences of the con-textual type only. This type consists of ellipses of declarative and non-declarative sentences.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
Keywords: Iban language, Grammar
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:14

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