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From nominalizations to questions – Evidence from Tucanoan

Dmitry Idiatov ; University of Antwerp
Johan van der Auwera ; University of Antwerp

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 156 Kb


str. 35-51

preuzimanja: 976



This paper examines question formation in the Tucanoan languages of South
America from a comparative and diachronic point of view. We argue that these
languages exhibit a historical and semantic relationship between nominalizations
and questions. Our hypothesis is primarily based on the formal identity of their
markers and on the fact that the interrogative verbal forms resemble
nominalizations being formally less finite than their declarative counterparts
because they lack the normal subject agreement suffixes. We claim that the
interrogative verbal forms originate from nominalized predications used to form
an inferential or mirative construction that were upgraded to the status of
independent utterances through copula deletion. Semantically, the interrogative
meaning must have become conventionalized via stages expressing doubt or

Ključne riječi

Tucanoan languages; South America; nominalization; finiteness; interrogative markers; questions; evidentiality; mirativity; historical linguistics; copula deletion; interrogative construction; verbal affixes; interrogative suffix

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