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Title: Transitivity in Shipibo-Konibo Grammar
Authors: Valenzuela, Pilar M.
Keywords: American Indigenous Languages (Southern)
Ge-Pano-Carib Languages
Shipibo - Grammar
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Oregon
Abstract: The present dissertation is devoted to the documentation of Shipibo-Konibo (SK), a Panoan language from the Peruvian Amazon, and is divided into two parts. Part I offers the first account of the phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse-pragmatic aspects of SK. This substantial grammatical description begins with an introduction to the Shipibo people and their language, as well as to the Panoan family. Part I1 provides an in-depth, typologically-informed treatment of selected morphosyntactic topics, all of which cluster around transitivity, a central notion in SK grammar. The formal and fkctional properties of causative, applicative, reflexive, and reciprocal constructions are investigated, and a distinction between "transitivity agreement" versus "participant agreement" phenomena is established for the first time in Panoan linguistics. Participant agreement (PA), defined as the use of a distinct inflectional morphology on adjuncts in correlation with the syntactic fimction of the participant they are predicated of, is probably the typologically most salient feature of Panoan grammar. Three basic PA patterns are identified in SK, all exhibiting an overall tripartite distribution (i.e., different forms for agreement with S, A, and 0 arguments); also different adjunct types are proposed based on the agreement patterns their members allow. Furthermore, a tentative correlation between adjunct types and varying degrees of participant-orientedness versus eventorientedness is offered. The overall tripartite distribution of the PA system (which diachronically involves case agreement) contrasts with the dominant ergative-absolutive case-marking on NPs, yielding a previously undescribed type of split-ergativity. In addition, a comparative and diachronic analysis of PA is offered, thus contributing to the reconstruction of Proto-Panoan morpho-syntax; the presence in the ancestor language of PA and a tripartite case-marking system in which both A and S arguments receive overt marking are posited. A handful of grammatical morphemes are reconstructed. The properties associated with transitivity in SK, such as symmetricality of objects, intransitive and transitive semantically generic verbs, a minimal transitivity requirement for taking the malefactive applicative, a transitivity agreement requirement in verb serialization, and especially PA, constitute features of significant typological interest, contributing to an understanding of transitivity and the various and complex ways it is encoded in language.
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