LINGUIST List 13.2269

Wed Sep 11 2002

Books: Native American languages: Bohnemeyer

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  1. LINCOM EUROPA, Juergen Bohnemeyer; Native American languages

Message 1: Juergen Bohnemeyer; Native American languages

Date: 05 Sep 2002 21:25 GMT
Subject: Juergen Bohnemeyer; Native American languages

The grammar of time reference in Yukatek Maya

Juergen Bohnemeyer
MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen

This study provides an in-depth analysis of the morphosyntax,
semantics, and pragmatics of the major grammatical constructions
involved in time reference in Yukatek Maya, a native Mesoamerican
language spoken on the peninsula of Yucat�n.

The description traces temporal properties in clause structure,
lexical predicate classes, verb inflection and derivation, adverbial
modification, and clause and sentence combination, and thus covers a
substantial part of the core grammar of the language. It gives one of
the most comprehensive and detailed accounts of the expression of
temporality in any Non-Indo-European language to date. Yukatek emerges
as a language in which relations of event order are largely left
unexpressed. There are no absolute or relative tenses, and no temporal
connectives equivalent to after, before, etc. Communication about
event order relies heavily on the coding of aspectual and modal
information, enriched by pragmatic inferences from context and world
knowledge. Further features of interest to typologists and time
semanticists include 'phase' verbs (translating 'begin', 'end', etc.)
with a semantics markedly distinct from those of phasal operators in
better studied languages; lack of any formal reflexes of telicity;
temporal connectives with aspectual meanings; and grammaticalized
distinctions of 'degrees of remoteness' that are not combined with
expressions of tense.

ISBN 3 89586 345 9.
LINCOM Studies in Native American Linguistics 44.
510pp. USD 80 / EUR 78 / GBP 48.

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Thursday, January 17, 2002