A Grammar of Tapiete (Tupi-Guarani)

by González, Hebe Alicia

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation provides a linguistic description of Tapiete, a Tupi-Guarani (TG) language spoken in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. Fieldwork has been conducted in Argentina, where about 80 Tapiete families are settled in MisiĆ³n Los Tapietes, Tartagal, province of Salta, northern Argentina. Thus, the linguistic data and the results of this study reflect the variety spoken by the Tapietes living in Argentina. The main features of Tapiete phonology, the nominal and the verbal morphology, as well as the syntactic structure are investigated. At the lexical level, a vocabulary of 2049 entries and 400 subentries is provided based on the information gathered through the elicitation of lexical questionnaires and texts. Specifically, this dissertation investigates the expression of possession in Tapiete, as its default marker of possession has developed from a functional extension of the default marker of possession, t-, of Class II nouns in TG languages. In addition, a further formalization of the alienable/inalienable opposition occurs, expressed through the existence of different sets of third person markers. In addition, this work discusses the restructuring of the cross-reference system in Tapiete. Specially, it describes the lack of an overt marker of third person for verbs that belong to Jensens Set 1, with the exception of monosyllabic roots, and the encoding of the first person active and inactive plural exclusive through the verbal root marked for third person, together with the affixation of the TG nominalizing morpheme -ha. In addition, the Tapiete version of Jensens Set 4 person markers differs from that of TG languages: while in TG languages these forms are portmanteau morphemes that encode a first person singular or plural acting on a second person singular (e.g. TG oro-) or a first person singular or plural acting on a second person plural (e.g TG opo-), in Tapiete, both forms encode a first person singular, with no possibility of their being interpreted as plural. Finally, Tapiete has developed a paradigm of reflexive person markers that comes from a reinterpretation of the prefixation of the a- and i- person markers which encode the agent and the patient, respectively.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Colette Grinevald; Pascual Masullo; Alan Juffs; Terrence Kaufman

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:10/04/2005

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