The Zamucoan family only includes two surviving endangered languages: Ayoreo (AY) and Chamacoco (CH), spoken in the northern Chaco between Bolivia and Paraguay by approximately 4500 and 2000 people, respectively. The Zamucoan family also includes an extinct language, Ancient Zamuco (AZ), described in the 18th century by the Jesuit Father Ignace Chomé. AZ is very close to AY from the lexical point of view, but shows striking morphosyntactic correspondences with CH, so as to allow robust diachronic insights (Ciucci 2013; Ciucci & Bertinetto, submitted). This talk will address relevant typological features which turn out to be rarely attested in the world’s languages. It should thus be viewed as providing further input to the Konstanz Raritätenkabinett. Some of these rarities can be observed in both AY and CH and probably stem from Proto-Zamuco. One can mention: (a) the tripartite distinction within nominal morphology, which crucially involves one form specifically devoted to nominal predication; (b) the radical lack of tense and aspect in verb morphology (Bertinetto 2014); (c) the presence of both gender and classifiers, or more specifically of gender and number in possessive classifiers (Bertinetto & Ciucci, in preparation); (d) the so-called para-hypotactic strategy, involving the simultaneous presence of both coordinator and subordinator connectives in sentences including a dependent clause (Bertinetto & Ciucci 2012). Some typologically rare features, inherited from Proto-Zamuco, are only found in AZ and occasionally also in AY. They include: (e) the presence of nominal tense (AZ) and of nominal aspect (AZ, AY) – the latter being an absolute rarity – and (f) the traces of a conjunct/disjunct system (AZ). The diachronic reconstruction proposed by Ciucci & Bertinetto (submitted) reveals other rarities to be found in the verb morphology of individual languages, such as: (g) the first person zero marking in the AY realis mood; (h) the unexpected affix order in the CH third person plural; (i) the combination of greater plural and clusivity in CH. According to some scholars, the Gran Chaco constitutes a linguistic area (Comrie et al. 2010). Indeed, despite typological rarity, some of the above-mentioned features may also be found in other surrounding languages. See in particular features (d) and (h), and to some extent (c). The Zamucoan populations have certainly undergone cultural influence from other Chaco populations (Combès 2009) and have presumably borrowed elements from the neighboring languages. In at least one case, however, namely (h), there are reasons to surmise that the direction of the influence went the other way round (Ciucci, to appear).

On rare typological features of the Zamucoan languages, in the framework of the Chaco linguistic area

BERTINETTO, Pier Marco;CIUCCI, LUCA
2015

Abstract

The Zamucoan family only includes two surviving endangered languages: Ayoreo (AY) and Chamacoco (CH), spoken in the northern Chaco between Bolivia and Paraguay by approximately 4500 and 2000 people, respectively. The Zamucoan family also includes an extinct language, Ancient Zamuco (AZ), described in the 18th century by the Jesuit Father Ignace Chomé. AZ is very close to AY from the lexical point of view, but shows striking morphosyntactic correspondences with CH, so as to allow robust diachronic insights (Ciucci 2013; Ciucci & Bertinetto, submitted). This talk will address relevant typological features which turn out to be rarely attested in the world’s languages. It should thus be viewed as providing further input to the Konstanz Raritätenkabinett. Some of these rarities can be observed in both AY and CH and probably stem from Proto-Zamuco. One can mention: (a) the tripartite distinction within nominal morphology, which crucially involves one form specifically devoted to nominal predication; (b) the radical lack of tense and aspect in verb morphology (Bertinetto 2014); (c) the presence of both gender and classifiers, or more specifically of gender and number in possessive classifiers (Bertinetto & Ciucci, in preparation); (d) the so-called para-hypotactic strategy, involving the simultaneous presence of both coordinator and subordinator connectives in sentences including a dependent clause (Bertinetto & Ciucci 2012). Some typologically rare features, inherited from Proto-Zamuco, are only found in AZ and occasionally also in AY. They include: (e) the presence of nominal tense (AZ) and of nominal aspect (AZ, AY) – the latter being an absolute rarity – and (f) the traces of a conjunct/disjunct system (AZ). The diachronic reconstruction proposed by Ciucci & Bertinetto (submitted) reveals other rarities to be found in the verb morphology of individual languages, such as: (g) the first person zero marking in the AY realis mood; (h) the unexpected affix order in the CH third person plural; (i) the combination of greater plural and clusivity in CH. According to some scholars, the Gran Chaco constitutes a linguistic area (Comrie et al. 2010). Indeed, despite typological rarity, some of the above-mentioned features may also be found in other surrounding languages. See in particular features (d) and (h), and to some extent (c). The Zamucoan populations have certainly undergone cultural influence from other Chaco populations (Combès 2009) and have presumably borrowed elements from the neighboring languages. In at least one case, however, namely (h), there are reasons to surmise that the direction of the influence went the other way round (Ciucci, to appear).
Zamucoan, typological rarities, clusivity, conjunct-disjunct system, Chamacoco, Ayoreo, classifiers
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/60006
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