REMINDER - Invitation - USYD Department of Linguistics Research Seminar

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Sebastian Fedden

Sep 22, 2016, 12:56:13 AM9/22/16
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Dear colleagues,


Our USYD Department of Linguistics Research Seminar continues with a talk by:


Associate Professor I Wayan Arka

Australian National University


Externally and internally headed relative clauses in Marori


Fri, 23 September 2016, 12.00-13.30

Rogers Room, John Woolley Bldg A20, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006


You’re welcome to bring your lunch to the talk. After the talk we’ll have our Linguistics Afternoon Tea.


You will find the abstract and a CV of our speaker below.







Marori (ISO 639-3: mok; a subgroup-level isolate, Papuan, highly endangered) is perhaps unusual in that it has almost all of the relative clause (RC) types: headed and headless RCs, externally and internally headed RCs, single- and double-headed RCs, pre- and post- head RCs, as well as detached RCs or co-relatives. In addition, all grammatical relations (subject, objects, obliques and adjuncts) are relativisable. Special attention will be given to internally headed relative clauses (IHRCs) in this language, which are highly constrained and may give rise to ambiguity, if out of context. However, there is an intriguing definiteness constraint, which can disambiguate them. I will argue that the constraint of IHRCs in Marori can be accounted for in terms of Grosu’s (2012) semantic typology of RCs; that is, IHRCs in Marori are essentially of the restrictive, non maximalising, type with non-specific indefinite force. The findings on RCs reported in this paper provide good empirical basis for the typological and theoretical study of RCs.


Grosu, Alexander. 2012. "Towards a more articulated typology of internally headed relative constructions: the semantic connection." Language and Linguistics Compass no. 6 (7):447-476.



I Wayan Arka’s contributions to linguistics have spanned different sub-disciplines: from theoretical, formal and computational grammar, to typology and descriptive and documentary linguistics. All of his projects involve international collaborations with institutions in Australia, Indonesia, the UK, US and NZ, and locally with language communities.


His research aims to generate a deep understanding of how grammar works, and to investigate how it can be explicitly modelled so as to produce a precise, empirically well-motivated description or analysis with theoretical, typological, and practical significance. He has immersed himself in linguistic theory, typology, and descriptive and documentary linguistics, with particular focus on the numerous and diverse languages of Indonesia. He has also cultivated skills in corpus development and  data management.


I Wayan Arka’s theoretical work is mainly within the Lexical-Functional Grammar  framework. His work in this area includes implementing LFG on Indonesian languages, outlining the challenges this poses and developing an LFG-based computational grammar of Indonesian. Funded by a grant from the Indonesian government, he has examined the core properties of eastern Indonesian languages, including Papuan languages. With a follow-up NSF project (2007-2009), he has demonstrated the theoretical implications of the Austronesian voice system in eastern Indonesia. With grants from the ARC and ELDP, he recently works on the Papuan languages of Merauke and has published papers on a range of topics; e.g, discussing the unusual complexity of the number system in Marori and the possible far-reaching implications it has in linguistic theory. 

Dr Sebastian Fedden | Lecturer in Linguistics

School of Letters, Art and Media | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


N367, John Woolley Bld A20 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006

T +61 2 9351 7518  | F +61 2 9351 2434


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