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A Grammar of Tariana, from Northwest Amazonia

£49.99

Part of Cambridge Grammatical Descriptions

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521028868

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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.

    • Full reference grammar of a relatively undescribed and currently endangered language
    • An account of the multilingualism resulting from strict traditions of exogamy and its effect on the structure of a language
    • A description of varied unusual linguistic features in typological perspective (classifiers, evidentiality, serial verbs and many others)
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521028868
    • length: 732 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 37 mm
    • weight: 1.14kg
    • contains: 1 map 58 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables, schemes and diagrams
    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    Organisation and cross-referencing
    List of abbreviations
    Map
    1. The language and its speakers
    2. Phonology
    3. Word classes
    4. Nominal morphology and noun structure
    5. Noun classes and classifiers
    6. Possession
    7. Case marking and grammatical relations
    8. Number
    9. Further nominal categories
    10. Derivation and compounding
    11. Closed word classes
    12. Verb classes and predicate structure
    13. Valency changing and argument rearranging mechanisms
    14. Tense and evidentiality
    15. Aspect, Aktionsart and degree
    16. Mood and modality
    17. Negation
    18. Serial verb constructions and verb compounding
    19. Complex predicates
    20. Participles and nominalisations
    21. Clause types and other syntactic issues
    22. Subordinate clauses and clause linking
    23. Relative clauses
    24. Complement clauses
    25. Discourse organisation
    26. Issues in etymology and semantics
    Appendix
    Texts
    Vocabulary
    References
    Index.

  • Author

    Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, La Trobe University, Victoria
    Alexandra Aikhenvald is Professor of Linguistics and Associate Director of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University. Her books include Language Contact in Amazonia (2003) and The Amazonian languages (co-edited with R. M. W. Dixon, Cambridge University Press, 1999). She has done extensive fieldwork on numerous Arawak languages from Brazil and has published a collection of texts in Tariana and also a Tariana-Portuguese dictionary.

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