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Noun Incorporation in Greenlandic: A Case of Syntactic Word Formation

Jerrold M. Sadock
Language
Vol. 56, No. 2 (Jun., 1980), pp. 300-319
DOI: 10.2307/413758
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/413758
Page Count: 20
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Noun Incorporation in Greenlandic: A Case of Syntactic Word Formation
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Abstract

In Greenlandic Eskimo, a polysynthetic language, the word-building apparatus performs much of the work that is accomplished by the syntax of more familiar languages. In particular, numerous processes in this language create verbs from nouns. Evidence of a quite unusual sort shows that these noun-incorporation processes must follow certain ordinary syntactic rules, such as case assignment and modifier-noun agreement. The language thus falsifies pronouncements concerning the independence of syntax and word formation based on data from languages that are typologically very different from Greenlandic.

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