Palmer, William D., Dunstan Brown, Greville G. Corbett & Harley Quilliam. 2008. Surrey Turning Owners into Actors Database: Possessive morphology as subject-indexing in the languages of the Bougainville region. University of Surrey. http://dx.doi.org/10.15126/SMG.19/1
A fundamental communicative task for all languages is to show which participant in a sentence is the subject. Languages have various ways of identifying the subject, including word-order, agreement, and case-marking. However, there is another unique and strange method, almost entirely unknown until now, found only in Northwest-Solomonic (NWS), a group of Oceanic languages of the Solomon Islands and Bougainville. In some constructions, these languages indicate subject using word-forms normally indicating possessors of nouns. This use of possessive morphology to mark subjects is theoretically highly significant. To define language fully we must understand the limits on subject-marking. This almost unresearched phenomenon is crucial to our understanding of the fundamental issue of how subjects can be marked.
The Surrey Turning Owners into Actors Database comprises data on the use of possessive morphology as subject-indexing in eight languages of the Bougainville region: Bannoni, Halia, Kokota, Nehan, Sisiqa, Solos, Torau and Vangunu. The database includes data on nine different grammatical phenomena related to subject indexing and possession: independent pronouns, nominal adpositional possession, nominal direct possession, nominal general indirect possession, nominal consumed indirect posssession, object indexing, preverbal subject indexing, postverbal subject indexing, and verb structure.
The database was created for the project 'Turning owners into actors: Possessive morphology as subject-indexing in the languages of the Bougainville region', funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. This support is gratefully acknowledged.
Creators: Palmer, William D; Brown, Dunstan; Corbett, Greville G.; Quilliam, Harley;
Title: Surrey Turning Owners into Actors Database: Possessive morphology as subject-indexing in the languages of the Bougainville region
Publisher: University of Surrey