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LINGUIST List 17.777

Tue Mar 14 2006

Diss: Lang Description: Haude: 'A Grammar of Movima ...'

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        1.    Katharina Haude, A Grammar of Movima

Message 1: A Grammar of Movima
Date: 13-Mar-2006
From: Katharina Haude <k.haudelet.ru.nl>
Subject: A Grammar of Movima

Institution: Radboud University Nijmegen
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Katharina Haude

Dissertation Title: A Grammar of Movima

Dissertation URL: http://webdoc.ubn.ru.nl/mono/h/haude_k/gramofmo.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Language Description

Subject Language(s): Movima (mzp)

Dissertation Director:
Pieter C. Muysken

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation is a comprehensive description of Movima, an
unclassified, endangered language spoken in the Bolivian lowlands with
about 1,400 speakers. The present study is based entirely on text and
elicitation data collected between 2001 and 2004.

Like many Amazonian languages, Movima has some highly noteworthy
properties. Its phonology is characterized by a relatively simple phoneme
inventory on the one hand and complicated metric rules on the other. Word
formation is basically agglutinating, but also strongly prosodically
determined. There are different reduplication processes (word-initial
monomoraic, bimoraic, and foot reduplication, as well as word-internal
CV-reduplication), which cover a wide range of functions, such as voice
marking, nominalization, marking of inalienable possession and the
formation of possessive clauses. Different phonological cliticization
processes can be distinguished according to their prosodic effect.

The major parts of speech are verbs and nouns. Adjectives form a subclass
of nouns. The word-class distinction is very weak: nouns can function as
predicates and verbs can occur in NPs without overt marking. Compounding
and incorporation are very frequent. The morphological entities that can
form part of a compound or can be incorporated into a verb are nouns, noun
roots, truncated nominal elements, and other bound elements with lexical
content. Many of these morphemes have a classificatory function, indicating
shape and consistency of an entity. Tense, aspect, and mood, as well as
epistemic categories, are expressed by particles.

Movima has a fine-grained system of deictic reference, expressed by
articles, pronouns, and demonstratives. Gender, number, presence, absence,
visibility, and position form the main parameters of reference. The system
also marks temporal categories, differentiating between actual or future
existence and ceased existence of the referent. By implication, these
categories can mark temporal relations in discourse.

Inalienable possession is an important criterion for the semantic
classification of nouns. Alienably possessed nouns are overtly marked when
denoting an inalienably possessed entity, and vice versa.

Movima clause structure is verb-initial. A verb has maximally two core
arguments, and its valency is generally overtly indicated by voice markers.
The productivity and function of the voice markers depend on lexical
properties of the base. Bivalent predicates are either direct or inverse,
according to the animacy (1>2>3) or topicality hierarchy. The core
arguments are distinguished by the way in which they are cliticized to the
predicate. The argument that aligns with S represents O in the direct and A
in the inverse construction.

While this thesis does not compare Movima to other Amazonian languages, it
shows that the language displays certain areal features, such as the
elaborate deictic system or the existence of bound lexical morphemes. At
the same time, Movima has properties that are not typical for the area: it
is highly configurational; the first person is expressed as zero; there is
no lexical tone, no vowel nasalization and no unrounded high vowel. Movima
also challenges some typological assumptions. For example, the language
does not clearly belong to a particular morphosyntactic type; tense is
consistently indicated on nominal constituents and not on verbs;
reduplication is by no means iconic. This book is therefore of interest not
only to linguists who specialize in the area, but also to typologists and
theoretical linguists.

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