Browse Prior Art Database

Aspects of a Karitiana grammar

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128061D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-14
Document File: 9 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Storto, Luciana: AUTHOR [+3]

Related Documents

http://theses.mit.edu:80/Dienst/UI/2.0/Describe/0018.mit.theses/1999-77: URL

Abstract

This dissertation is intended as a description of some theoretically interesting aspects of the phonology and syntax of the Karitiana language. Karitiana is the sole surviving language of the Arik6m family (Tupi Stock), spoken today by approximately 200 people living in their own demarcated reservation located 95 Knl south of Porto Velho, in the state of Rondonia, Brazil. Chapter 1 describes and analyzes the segmental phonology of the language. With respect to segmental features, special attention is given to the consonants of the nasal series, which undergo partial oralization in environments contiguous to oral vowels. I claim that this phenomenon gives support to the hypothesis that nasality must be represented as a binary feature. Another phenomenon of theoretical interest in Karitiana phonology is vocalic epenthesis, which is triggered by syllabification word-internally and by syllabification as well as stress clash avoidance in certain phrasal environments. I explain the interactions between epenthesis and stress assignment in a derivational model of cyclic phonology. Chapter 2 describes the pitch accent system of the language, in which tones are assigned to the same metrical plane in which stress is computed. In chapter 3, I show that the language is verb-final and that the verb obligatorily raises to the complementizer position (C) in matrix clauses to check tense and agreement features. In dependent clauses, the verb is final, and no agreement or tense is present. I draw a parallel between Karitiana and Germanic verb second languages: in both systems the matrix tensed verb must surface in C, and a phrase must fill Spec,Ch. The latter is only a tendency in Karitiana. Standard agreement is nominative (ab'solutive), although whenever the object is A-bar moved to the focus position (Spec,CP) in nondeclarative focused clauses, the verb shows ergative agreement. I argue that the functional morphology inserted as a focus marker deactivates the agreement features of I, the functional head that would normally covertly agree with the ergative subject, and as a result, the other functional head bearing agreement features (C) agrees with the ergative subject. Chapter 5 describes other instances of nondeclarative and declarative focus constructions.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 21% of the total text.

Page 1 of 9

 This record is the front matter from a document that appears on a server at MIT and is used through permission from MIT. See http://theses.mit.edu:80/Dienst/UI/2.0/Describe/0018.mit.theses/1999-77 for copyright details and for the full document in image form.

ASPECTS OF A KARITIANA GRAMMAR

by

Luciana R. Storto
B.A. in History Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), 1988 M.A. in Linguistics Pennsylvania State University, 1994
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
February 1999


(C) 1994 Luciana R. Storto All rights reserved

The author hereby grants to MIT permission to reproduce and to distribute publicly paper and electronic copies of this thesis document in whole or in part SIGNATURE OF author: [[signature omitted]]

Department of Linguistics and Philosophy December 1998
CERTIFIED BY: [[SIGNATURE OMITTED]]

Kenneth Locke Hale Ferrarri P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages and Linistics Thesis Advisor ACCEPTED BY: [[SIGNATURE OMITTED]]

Michael Kenslowicz

Chair, Linquistics Program Department of Linguistics and Philosophy ARCHIVES MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY LIBRARIES MAR 26 1999

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Page 1 Dec 31, 1999

Page 2 of 9

Aspects of a Karitiana grammar

ASPECTS OF A KARITIANA GRAMMAR

by

Luciana R. Storto

Submitted to the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy on December 31, 1998 in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics

ABSTRACT

This dissertation is intended as a description of some theoretically interesting aspects of the phonology and syntax of the Karitiana language. Karitiana is the sole surviving language of the Arik6m family (Tupi Stock), spoken today by approximately 200 people living in their own demarcated reservation located 95 Knl south of Porto Velho, in the state of Rondonia, Brazil. Chapter 1 describes and analyzes the segmental phonology of the language. With respect to segmental features, special attention is given to the consonants of the nasal series, which undergo partial oralization in environments contiguous to oral vowels. I claim that this phenomenon gives support to the hypothesis that nasality must be represented as a binary feature. Another phenomenon of theoretical interest in Karitiana phonology is vocalic epenthesis, which is triggered by syllabification word-internally and by syllabification as well as stress clash avoidance in certain phrasal environments. I explain the interactions between epenthesis and stress assignment in a derivational model of cyclic phonology. Chapter 2 describes the pitch accent system of the language, in which tones are assigned to the same metrical plane in which stress is computed. In chapter 3, I show that the language is verb-final and that the verb obligatorily raises to the complementizer position (C) in matrix clauses to check tense and agreement features. In dependent clauses,...