Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John C. Crawford


This paper is a grammatical sketch of the Berik language based on language data gathered while living with the Berik people in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. The levels of the grammatical hierarchy described are words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. The tagmemic model has been used as the model for analysis

Words, isolatable units which cannot be further divided into "free" forms, are divided into classes which are distinguished from one another according to principles of affixation.

Phrases consist of at least one obligatory tagmeme with one or more marginal tagmemes whose fillers are typically words. Several different phrase types are identified.

Clauses, units of prediction, most commonly fill the nuclei of sentences. The occurrence of the number and kind of nuclear clause tagmemes with their respective verbs determine the transitivity of the clause upon which the clause types are based.

Sentences are basic units of discourse. Independent, dependent, simple, and complex sentences are described.

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