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Title: A Grammar of Mocovi
Authors: Grondona, Veronica Maria
Keywords: Mocoví - Grammar
Guaykuruan Languages
American Indigenous Languages
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: University of Pitsburgh
Abstract: This dissertation presents a description of Mocovi with special emphasis on the inflectional morphology of noun and verb phrases and the structure of clauses and sentences. The basis for this study is comprised of data collected during fieldwork with native speakers of Mocovi in the Colonia "El Pastoril" in Chaco province, Argentina. Mocovi belongs to the Southern branch of the Waikuruan language family. It has somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 speakers who live in communities scattered in the northern part of Santa Fe province and the southern part of Chaco province in Argentina. Mocovi is an SVO language with an Active/Inactive pronominal system. It has one set of pronominal clitics for agentive subjects, i.e. an Active set of proclitics, and another set for non-agent subjects and objects, i.e. an Inactive set of proclitics. The set of Inactive proclitics strongly resembles the set of possessive markers on nouns. It also has an Alienable/Inalienable opposition in nouns. Mocovi has a complex demonstrative system that consists of a set of deictic roots which precede the noun in noun phrases and mark the absence/presence of the noun they modify, as well as motion (coming/going) and position (standing/sitting/lying). These deictic roots can also function as pronominals and as locative adverbs. Mocovi has a complex verb form with numerous categories expressed as affixes or clitics within that form: negation, indefinite agent, person and number, progressive aspect, location and direction, object number, and evidentiality. It lacks a passive construction, but it has an indefinite agent proclitic that occurs within the verb form. It has a set of locative/directional verbal enclitics that express the location and/or direction of the action expressed by the verb. The following types of clauses are described: transitive and intransitive clauses, existential and copular clauses, and subordinate clauses, including relative clauses and complement clauses. This study provides a description of Mocovi a language that has been poorly documented, with particular emphasis on nominal and verbal morphology. It provides a fairly detailed and comprehensive study of a Waikuruan language. It presents data for a comparative study of Waikuruan languages, and for the reconstruction of Proto-Waikuruan.
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