Language contact and language blend: Kumandene Tariana of Northwest Amazonia

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (2014) Language contact and language blend: Kumandene Tariana of Northwest Amazonia. International Journal of American Linguistics, 80 (3). pp. 323-370.

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The Vaupés River Basin in northwest Amazonia is a well-established linguistic area characterized by obligatory multilingualism and exogamy based on linguistic allegiance. The core members of the area who take part in the multilingual marriage network are speakers of East Tucanoan languages and of one Arawak language, Tariana. The impact of East Tucanoan influence on Tariana is recognizable through structural diffusion. Two dialects of Tariana are currently spoken. Wamiarikune Tariana (W-Tariana), with a few speakers in the middle Vaupés area, is highly endangered; it is under strong pressure from Tucano. Kumandene Tariana (K-Tariana), also endangered, is spoken in the community of Santa Terezinha on the Iauarí River (tributary of the Lower Vaupés). The K-Tariana moved to their present location from Iauaretê on the middle Vaupés two generations ago, escaping pressure from Catholic missionaries. The K-Tariana intermarry with the Baniwa Hohôdene, speakers of a closely related language, now the major language in their village. Over the past 50 years, speakers of K-Tariana have acquired numerous Baniwa features. This can be seen through comparison with older sources on this dialect. At present, the degree of Baniwa impact on Kumandene Tariana varies, depending on the speaker and on the audience. The result is a curious language blend. This paper discusses the status of K-Tariana in the context of other blended, or "merged," languages.

Item ID: 28165
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1545-7001
Keywords: Tariana, Vaupés River Basin linguistic area, Amazonian languages, language contact, blended language
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Project "The World through the Prism of Language", ARC Discovery Project "The Grammar of Knowledge"
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2014 03:12
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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