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The Structure of Riau Indonesian

  • David Gil (a1)

Abstract

This article is concerned with the basic syntactic and semantic structure of Riau Indonesian, a hitherto undescribed dialect differing in many respects from standard Indonesian and Malay. Riau Indonesian appears to exhibit an abundance of zero-markings of various kinds, in which a wide variety of syntactic constructions and semantic categories lack overt morphosyntactic expression. Two alternative descriptions are provided: an “easy” description, couched in traditional grammatical terminology and a Eurocentric perspective, and a “simple” description, positing a single open syntactic category, and unconstrained rules of semantic interpretation. The latter, simple description, is argued to be superior.

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