The hispanization of Chamacoco syntax

Ciucci, Luca (2021) The hispanization of Chamacoco syntax. Italian Journal of Linguistics/Rivista di Linguistica, 33 (1). pp. 111-134.

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Abstract

This paper investigates contact-driven syntactic change in Chamacoco (a.k.a. Ɨshɨr ahwoso), a Zamucoan language with about 2,000 speakers in Paraguay. Chamacoco syntax was originally characterized by a low number of conjunctions, like its cognate Ayoreo. Although Chamacoco shows transfers from other neighboring languages, a turning point in language change was the beginning of regular contacts with Western society around the year 1885. Since then, Spanish has exerted a growing influence on Chamacoco, affecting all levels of linguistic analysis. Most speakers are today Chamacoco-Spanish bilingual, and the language is endangered. Chamacoco has borrowed some conjunctions from Spanish, and new clause combining strategies have replaced older syntactic structures. Other function words introduced from Spanish include temporal adverbs, discourse markers, quantifiers and prepositions. I discuss their uses, the reasons for their borrowing and their interaction with original Chamacoco function words. Some borrowed function words can combine with autochthonous conjunctions to create new subordinators that are calques from Spanish compound subordinating conjunctions. This resulted in remarkable syntactic complexification. Chamacoco comparatives, modeled on the Spanish ones, are also likely instances of contact-induced complexification, since there are reasons to surmise that Chamacoco originally lacked dedicated comparative structures.

Item ID: 69075
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1120-2726
Keywords: Chamacoco, clause combining, comparatives, coordination, function words, language contact, South American Indigenous languages, subordination, syntax, Zamucoan.
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Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2021 02:53
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470409 Linguistic structures (incl. phonology, morphology and syntax) @ 40%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470407 Language documentation and description @ 40%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470406 Historical, comparative and typological linguistics @ 20%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130202 Languages and linguistics @ 100%
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