Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session

Article Title

The Koh verbal system




From the introduction: "The purpose is to describe the Koh verbal system in terms of its grammatical forms and their possible meanings. Special attention is given to the tense-aspect-mood (TAM) system. The formally marked categories of the TAM system are relatively few in Koh. In fact Koh is a "tenseless" language in the sense that temporal deixis does not appear as a formal category in the verbal system. Rather, it is a sentence level function or is derived from the discourse-pragmatic context. There are one basic mood opposition and four aspectual categories. One aspectual category has a restricted usage. Even though there are a small number of overt forms in Koh, there is a wide range of expressible TAM notions. So, in order to describe the verbal system adequately, one must consider the full range of meanings possible for each form and combination of forms.

Before turning to the consideration of the verbal system I will introduce the basic phonology (Sect. 1.4) and syntax (Sect. 1.5) of Koh. Then in Sect. 2 I will examine the relevant phonological and morphological information concerning verb roots. In Sect. 3 the classification of verb roots will be discussed. Then in Sect. 4 I will turn to the formal TAM categories of Koh, and in Sect. 5 to complex verbal constructions. I will conclude, in Sect. 5, with a summary of verbal forms and some of their possible meanings."

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