A Grammar of Tariana, from Northwest Amazonia

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 7, 2003 - Foreign Language Study - 705 pages
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This is a comprehensive reference grammar of Tariana, an endangered Arawak language from a remote region in the northwest Amazonian jungle. Its speakers traditionally marry someone speaking a different language, and as a result most people are fluent in five or six languages. Because of this rampant multilingualism, Tariana combines a number of features inherited from the protolanguage with properties diffused from neighbouring but unrelated Tucanoan languages. Typologically unusual features of the language include: an array of classifiers independent of genders, complex serial verbs, case marking depending on the topicality of a noun, and double marking of case and of number. Tariana has obligatory evidentiality: every sentence contains a special element indicating whether the information was seen, heard, or inferred by the speaker, or whether the speaker acquired it from somebody else. This grammar will be a valuable source-book for linguists and others interested in natural languages.
 

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Contents

Phonology
25
Word classes
66
Nominal morphology and noun structure
82
Possession
122
Case marking and grammatical relations
139
Number
164
Further nominal categories
183
Derivation and compounding
196
Serial verb constructions and verb compounding
423
Complex predicates
449
Participles and nominalisations
460
Clause types and other syntactic issues
475
Subordinate clauses and clause linking
515
Relative clauses
537
Complement clauses
547
Discourse organisation
561

Closed word classes
203
Verb classes and predicate structure
234
Valency changing and argument rearranging mechanisms
258
Tense and evidentiality
287
Aspect Aktionsart and degree
324
Mood and modality
371
Negation
400
Issues in etymology and semantics
594
Appendix The main features of the Tariana dialects
620
Texts
630
Vocabulary
671
References
682
Index of authors languages and subjects
690
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