By Carl Robert Whitehead
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Extra resources for A reference grammar of Menya, an Angan language of Papua New Guinea
In the majority of clauses in natural text (663 in this sample), there is not an overt reference to both S and O, other than by verbal affixation, and so three-term basic word order is not fully applicable. Where only one of S and O is overt, however, it is almost invariably before the verb, confirming the verbfinal pattern. Examples (17) and (18) represent the most frequent patterns for clauses in which both S and O are overtly specified. The exceptions to the SOV pattern are conditioned by pragmatic factors; topical entities are fronted or even extracted (left-dislocated) from the clause into the frame and any NP can be postposed after the verb either as an afterthought clarification of identity or for special effect.
Object and genitive forms of neutral masculine demonstrative pronouns singular dual plural object =V hptd! h=pt=d hpt`pth! h=pt=`pt=h hpt`t! h=pt=`=t genitive =p« hptdp«! h=pt=d=p« hpt`pthxp«! h=pt=`pt=h=p« hpt`tp«! h=pt=`=t=p« genitive =t« hptdt«! h=pt=d=t« hpt`ptht«! h=pt=`pt=h=t« hpt`t«! h=pt=`=t«! 52) Rtp«! ``fl« x«fl«m«pflp«! shfl« hpt`t! «tx«sflpd-! rtp«! ``fl« x«fl«m«pflp«! ’ 53) …hpt`! hpt`tp«! xldp«! ct! lnstp`omtv«flp«-! h=pt=` h=pt=`=t=p«! xldp«! m=ct! ’ 54) Rh! hptdt«! jtjflt«! ctflh+!
H=o`=pt hrt`pt! h=rt=`pt! plural =` hpt`! h=pt=` ht`! h=t=` hod! h=o`=` hrt`! h=rt=` The masculine forms are used when all the referents are male (50) or when gender is deemed unimportant. The feminine forms are used when any of the referents are female and gender is deemed important (51). The honorific forms are used primarily to refer to older people, and the diminutive primarily to children, but only when the speaker chooses to be specific. Effectively, therefore, the masculine is the ‘unmarked’ form and can be used for any referent when the speaker chooses not to specify gender.