Expressing possibility in two Oceanic languages

Kilu Von Prince, Anna Margetts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we offer the first detailed description of expressions of possibility in the Oceanic languages Daakaka and Saliba-Logea. We show that in these languages basic expressions of possibility are bi-clausal. This suggests that, depending on their intended scope, typological studies of modal expressions may need to consider grammaticalized bi-clausal structures which have typically been excluded in studies of this domain based on their structural complexity. Relevant features to consider bi-clausal constructions as basic, grammaticalized expressions of possibility include their frequency, semantic specificity, and paradigmatic relationship with other modal expressions. The findings presented here are based on the analysis of original corpus data and targeted fieldwork.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-667
Number of pages40
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2019


  • Grammaticalization
  • Modality
  • Oceanic
  • Possibility

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