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Title: Predication in Rarómuri (Urique Tarahumara)
Authors: Valdez Jara, Yolanda
Keywords: American Indigenous Languages (Northern)
Uto-Aztecan Languages
Raromuri - Grammar
Urique Tarahumara - Grammar
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Oregon
Abstract: The Rarómuri, or Urique Tarahumara (UT), language belongs to the Taracahitian sub-branch of the Uto-Aztecan family. There are five major linguistics variants called Tarahumara, all spoken in Chihuahua state in northern Mexico. This dissertation is an introduction to how both verbal and nonverbal predicates are formed in the language of the Rarómuri people, as spoken in Urique, Chihuahua. The central contribution of this dissertation is found in Chapter IV on nonverbal predication and Chapter V on verbal predication, and the work opens with three chapters: Chapter I is the introduction, Chapter II introduces the orthography and some of the most common morphophonological processes, and Chapter III sketches the morphology and syntax of the Noun Phrase. Chapter VI concludes the dissertation with a discussion of directions for future research. This dissertation is based on a combination of recorded texts and elicited material. The texts provided the natural language where the constructions in question occur in actual use, providing the motivation and signaling directions for elicitation, which then allowed the understanding of the intricate morphological patterns. Both types of data material are invaluable for the researcher, and I include examples of both when possible. One point of typological interest in UT is the verbal indexation system for subjects in the past tense, which includes suffixes for 3 SG/PL and 1 PL, zero marking (fused with the tense suffix) for 2 PL, and verbal enclitics for 1 SG and 2 SG. The verbal enclitics also occur marking future tense verbs. The verbal enclitics for 1 SG and 2 SG can also mark object, and alone among core arguments, the 1 SG free pronoun object must take a locative suffix. Looking at person marking and object case, it appears that UT has an incipient hierarchical system, with 1 SG >2 SG >1 PL/2 PL/3. Another of the most salient features of UT is the morphophonology. It is common in UT for a morpheme to present several allomorphs, and some, like the Potential Future, can have up to 9 allomorphs. Some of this allomorphy is phonologically conditioned, other allomorphy is lexically conditioned, and other allomorphy is clearly suppletive. The interaction of these conditioning factors is possible.
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