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Title: Morfologia e Sintaxe da Língua Xavante
Authors: Oliveira, Rosana Costa de
Keywords: American Indigenous Languages
Southern American Languages
Ge-Pano-Carib Languages
Xavante - Grammar
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to perform a morphological analysis of the Xavante language within the Distributed Morphology theoretical framework (cf. Halle & Marantz 1993) and also to analyze aspects of the syntax of the language in the light of the Minimalist Program (cf. Chomsky, 1995) and the Cartographic Project (cf. Rizzi, 1997). Within the Distributed Morphology framework, we describe and analyze Xavante’s names and verbs, and show that some vocabulary items are undespecified. The name, in Xavante, is formed with acategorial or verbal roots merged to null or explicit phonological nominalizers. The verb is formed only by acategorial roots merged with null or explicit phonological verbalizers. According to the Minimalist Program, the SVO order is universal. It is possible to observe that the main verb doesn’t need to go out of the vP to check inflection, because the auxiliary verb which is base generated in the head of T, carries the inflections features. Firstly, the subject and the object move for functional positions in the vP. The subject rises to the TP specifier to check its EPP trace. The object, which in SOV order can be in the left or in the right of the auxiliary verb, also goes out of the vP. Having its features checked, the subject, and sometimes the object, go up for a topic or focus position within a complex CP. Xavante interrogative, topic and focus constructions which have an impact on the left periphery of the clause are also investigated with reference to proposals made by Rizzi (1997 e 1999) and Benincá (2001).
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