The nine Sogeram languages, spoken in Papua New Guinea, form a small subgroup of the Madang branch of Trans-New Guinea.
The nine Sogeram languages, spoken in Papua New Guinea, form a small subgroup of the Madang branch of Trans-New Guinea. Serial verb constructions (SVCs) are reconstructible to Proto-Sogeram, and this presentation discusses what we can know about their structure and how they have changed in the various daughter languages. I focus especially on how certain verbs contributed aspectual meaning, instead of their usual lexical meaning, to SVCs.
I begin by presenting the properties of SVCs in Gants, the most conservative Sogeram language in this respect, outlining their argument structure, and discussing the aspectual meanings that serialized verbs can convey. I then turn to other Sogeram languages and present constructions which are cognate with Gants SVCs, including verb-verb compounds in Nend and Manat, and TAM morphology in Apalɨ and Mum.
I conclude by describing the inventory of aspectual verbs that are reconstructible for Proto-Sogeram SVCs, and discussing how these constructions have changed in the history of the family and what the implications are for our understanding of language change.
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