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  • Author or Editor: Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald x
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Abstract

Tariana is the only North Arawak language currently spoken within the multilingual linguistic area of the Vaupés River Basin. Long-term interaction based on institutionalized multilingualism between East Tucanoan languages and Tariana has resulted in the rampant diffusion of grammatical and semantic patterns (rather than forms). A complex system of negation in Tariana reflects a combination of genetically inherited and areally diffused patterns. Tariana preserves the Proto-Arawak negative prefix in derivational and nominal negation. Some inherently negative lexemes and the distinction between future and non-future negation in declarative clauses are most likely to have resulted from impact of East Tucanoan languages. I discuss each of the Tariana negators, and then draw a comparison with negation patterns found in related North Arawak languages of the Rio Negro and the adjacent areas. These include the Baniwa of Içana-Kurripako dialect continuum, Piapoco, Guarequena, Warekena of Xié (and its dialects Baniwa of Guainia and the now extinct Yavitero), Resígaro, Achagua, Yucuna, Bahwana and Baré (both extinct). The Appendix contains an overview of negative forms in these North Arawak languages, accompanied by a list of sources.

In: Negation in Arawak Languages
In: Linguistics and Archaeology in the Americas
In: Copies versus Cognates in Bound Morphology
In: Copies versus Cognates in Bound Morphology
Knowledge can be expressed in language using a plethora of grammatical means. Four major groups of meanings related to knowledge are Evidentiality: grammatical expression of information source; Egophoricity: grammatical expression of access to knowledge; Mirativity: grammatical expression of expectation of knowledge; and Epistemic modality: grammatical expression of attitude to knowledge. The four groups of categories interact. Some develop overtones of the others. Evidentials stand apart from other means in many ways, including their correlations with speech genres and social environment. This essay presents a framework which connects the expression of knowledge across the world's languages in a coherent way, showing their dependencies and complexities, and pathways of historical development in various scenarios, including language obsolescence.
In: Multi-verb Constructions

Abstract

Noun categorization devices, or classifiers, of all types are a means of classifying referents in terms of basic cognitively salient parameters. These include humanness, animacy, sex, shape, direction and orientation, consistency, and function. In large systems of classifiers, one finds additional terms whose application is restricted to a limited set of referents, or even just to a single referent. For instance, numerous languages of Mainland Southeast Asia have elaborate sets of specific classifiers in the domain of social hierarchies and human interactions. Languages with multiple classifier systems spoken in riverine environment will be likely to have a special classifier for ‘canoe’. Rather than categorizing entities in terms of general features, such classifiers with specific meanings serve to highlight items important for the socio-cultural environment of the speakers and their means of subsistence. Specific classifiers are likely to be lost if a practice or a hierarchy they reflect undergoes attrition. They occupy a singular place in language acquisition and the history of development of classifier systems.

In: Cognitive Semantics
In: Language at Large
In: Language at Large
In: Language at Large