A Study of Saisiyat Morphology
- About the Book
Saisiyat is a Formosan language spoken in the north-western part of Taiwan. It is divided into two groups, a northern and a southern group. The Northern group used to speak the Taai dialect (also known as the Northern dialect) and lives in the upper reaches of the Shangping river in Wufeng Township, Hsinchu County. It is now largely acculturated to the Atayal. The Southern group speaks the Tungho dialect, also referred to as the Southern dialect. Most of the population is distributed throughout the valley delineated by the Eastern and the Southern rivers in Nanchuang Township, Miaoli County and further divided into two major communities, Tungho and Penglai dispersed in a number of villages/settlements. A small amount of the population among the Southern group is also located in the upper reaches of the Shihtan River in Shihtan Township, Miaoli County and forms a third community, referred to as Shihtan. The major difference between the two dialects is said to lie in their phonologies but no study has so far attempted to determine the amount of lexical and morpho-syntactic variation.
The goal of this monograph is to provide a functional and empirically-based study of the morphology of Tungho Saisiyat in an attempt to clarify the morphological units, morphological processes, major lexical categories of this language and further discuss its nominal and verbal morphology. The choice to orient this study towards morphology is explained by the fact that even though Saisiyat is now one of the best documented Formosan languages – there is one grammatical sketch and numerous studies on various aspects of Saisiyat grammar – there are still few studies on Saisiyat morphology, which level of complexity has been overlooked in the past.