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3.0. Introduction: The agglutinating character of Mundari is also neglected in its syntactic structure. While it has been demonstrated in the previous chapter that words are neither generally inflected nor they undergo significant morpho-phonemic changes, the composition of words into larger structure of phrase, of phrase into a clause and of clause into a sentence is systematically manipulated through linear juxtaposition of the involved free segment of morphemes, which are recognized easily within the structure. A Mundari sentence, therefore, is a loosely agglutinated string of smaller segments. which along with intonational features occur in an absolute position. Some of the notable characteristics of Mundari sentence are outlined below:
3.0.1. Mundari sentence is phrase-based: Structure and function of a word in Mundari are somewhat flaid. What a Mundari native speaker may identify as a word can came out to be a bound form structurally. Again, in slots of subject, predicated etc., a word does not fit in, it is generally a phrase which performs such syntactic functions. Apart from fitting into the subjstitution cirterion of the traditionalists, the phrase is a string of morphemes with one free and other free or bound or semi-bound morphemes in which the constituent elements may be related to each other syntactically. As for example, the noun phrase may include such phrases where case relations have been expressed or a vocative is intended and so on. Other arguments are following:
(a) Most of the grammatical functions are performed by postpositions and particles. These items, although treated as
a) Most of the grammatical functions are performed by postpositions and particles. These items, although treated as separaate words by native speakers, are semi-bound forms, i.e., neither they occur quite independently as content words nor completely dependently. Functionally also, such segments are not independent and they jointly with other morphemes make one unit. In the example like /nekaredo/, composed of four morphemes ne+ka+re+do, while the words could be three neka+re+do, functionally the whole has to be treated as one unit. This expression which means ‘if like this, however,’ is nothing else a phrase and there is no point in taking into account three words, involved, on the syntactic level.
(b) The so-called bound forms, such as plural or dual marker, even if they semantically belong to the particular noun, structurally they belong to the whole phrase, when it comes to sentence level, Such as /tekokoa/ ‘towards boys’ has /ko’ suffixed to the preceding particle /te/ ‘towards’ and not to /koa/ ‘boy’ for which it is meant. The normal phrase structure /koakate/ can also be used optionally. Thus, it will be evident that in certain cases Mundari also allows some positional variation within the phrase. Obviously. Therefore, this whole form cannot be treated as one word, rather as one phrase. In this way, the intergrity of a word as such along with even a dependent morpheme is hardly maintained.
(c) The structural cut for a word is difficult to be ascertained. Even in case of the above examples/nekaredo/ four different I-C analyses are possible and the case may be argued for each of them: neka+redo; nekare_do; neka + re + do and nekaredo. The forms/ redo/, /re/, /do/ all are free morphemes, where /redo/ is a compund, co-occuring very frequently. The whole phrase ‘sentantanai may be treated as either one word or so may words like sen+tana+i bu this verbal phrase actually represents a whole sentence. If the word is defined as ‘free ± bound morphreme’, the majority of Mundari sentences would turn out to be words, with the two situations examplified above.





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