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By Guillaume, Antoine

This publication is an in depth top quality descriptive grammar of the endangered Cavine?±a language (less than 1200 speakers), spoken within the Amazonian rainforest of Lowland Bolivia, a space the place the indigenous languages are nearly unknown. Cavine?±a belongs to the Tacanan kinfolk, comprising 5 languages, none of which has been the topic of an enough descriptive grammar. The grammar is primarily based at the vast fieldwork carried out via the writer in conventional Cavine?±a groups. forged within the functional-typological framework, and in response to normal discourse facts, the grammar offers an in depth and copiously exemplified account of so much features of the language, build up from easy degrees (phonetic and phonological) to raised degrees (morphological and syntactic), and from short descriptions of every point to a extra accomplished description of a similar point in particular chapters. The language features a variety of strange gains that may be of curiosity to typologist linguists, equivalent to an strange pitch accessory process, a morpho-phonological rule that deletes?  case markers, an complex predicate constitution, a procedure of verbal suffixes coding linked movement, a weird prefix e?  that attaches to nouns coding physique components and a fancy approach of moment place clitic pronouns. The grammar can be of curiosity to historical-comparative linguists, as for the 1st time one has sufficiently designated grammatical details to make attainable a competent comparability with different languages with which Tacanan languages should be comparable, specifically the Panoan family members, and to function enter into hypotheses in regards to the inhabitants historical past of this a part of South the United States.

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Extra resources for A Grammar of Cavinena

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There are 20 consonants and 4 vowels. The phonetic realization of each segment varies very little. Syllable structure is (C)V. The accentual system, which is used to define the boundaries of phonological words, is unusual because it involves complex combinations of high and mid pitches. Cavineña has agglutinative morphology with a fairly high degree of synthesis, especially in verbs. The language has an important number of clitics (in particular enclitics). It is essentially a dependent-marking language (following Nichols 1986).

Some subordinate clauses have co-reference restrictions vis-à-vis their controlling clause. In all the cases, these restrictions always operate in terms of a nominative/accusative pivot, showing that Cavineña is only ergative at the morphological level. 10. Writing systems Cavineña was first written when SIL missionaries began studying in Bolivia, starting with Key (1963b). Key’s system is based on the Spanish orthography. For example the phoneme /k/ is written qu before front vowels i and e and c before non-front vowels a and u.

5 Before the first contacts with Spanish missionaries, the Cavineñas appear to have lived between the rivers Madidi and Beni (see Map 2). Traditional stories relating to this period mention the constant state of war be5 This section draws on Rivero (1986a, 1986b), Castro Mantilla (1996), García Pérez (1998: 42), Espinoza (2003), and information provided to me by Alfredo Tavo and Mickaël Brohan. 6 1. The language and its speakers tween the Cavineñas and enemies, generally identified as the ancestors of the present-day Ese Ejjas (from the same Tacanan linguistic family).

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