Chapter published in:Austronesian Undressed: How and why languages become isolating
Edited by David Gil and Antoinette Schapper
[Typological Studies in Language 129] 2020
► pp. 213–252
Voice and bare verbs in Colloquial Minangkabau
Minangkabau is an Austronesian language spoken primarily in West Sumatra. Previous studies of voice and morphosyntax, which have largely relied on elicitation-based methodology, suggest that Minangkabau can be characterised as an Indonesian-type language since its active/passive voice system resembles that of Malay/Indonesian. This study, which makes use of a corpus of naturalistic Minangkabau data, finds that the use of bare verbs (i.e. verbs that are unmarked for voice) is pervasive in informal and conversational contexts. Morphological underspecification for voice in the naturalistic data suggests that Colloquial Minangkabau is a distinct variety. The apparent optional nature of voice marking in Colloquial Minangkabau indicates that its function is primarily semantic and conceptual, and that Colloquial Minangkabau is better characterised as having a Sundic-type voice system.
Keywords: Minangkabau, voice, bare verbs, Sundic-type voice system, Indonesian-type voice system
Published online: 21 October 2020
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