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LINGUIST List 19.1241

Sat Apr 12 2008

Diss: Disc Analysis/Historical Ling/Morphology: Hintz: 'Aspect and ...'

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        1.    Daniel Hintz, Aspect and Aspectual Interfaces in South Conchucos Quechua: The emergence of grammatical systems

Message 1: Aspect and Aspectual Interfaces in South Conchucos Quechua: The emergence of grammatical systems
Date: 08-Apr-2008
From: Daniel Hintz <djhintzumail.ucsb.edu>
Subject: Aspect and Aspectual Interfaces in South Conchucos Quechua: The emergence of grammatical systems
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Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
Program: Linguistics Department
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Daniel J. Hintz

Dissertation Title: Aspect and Aspectual Interfaces in South Conchucos Quechua: The emergence of grammatical systems

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Quechua, Southern Conchucos Ancash (qxo)
Language Family(ies): Quechuan

Dissertation Director:
Marianne Mithun

Dissertation Abstract:

This study presents a comprehensive account of the grammatical expression
of aspect and related semantic domains in South Conchucos Quechua (SCQ), a
language of central Peru. Based on a corpus of over five hours of
naturally-occurring speech, the approach applied here integrates the
description of the synchronic system with an investigation of competing
forces of semantic change that have shaped the grammatical system over time.

Discourse-based analysis reveals that aspect in SCQ does not constitute a
neatly organized system of maximal contrasts. Instead, the aspectual system
comprises a network of twenty productive grammatical markers characterized
by subtle semantic distinctions and considerable overlap within the
perfective and imperfective domains. Individual aspectual elements are
distributed through interdependent layers of derivational and inflectional
morphology. Several aspect markers are currently located midway along a
scale from derivation to inflection, while others have attained full
inflectional status.

While it is useful to maintain a clear analytic distinction between
semantic domains, typically one and the same SCQ aspect marker
grammatically encodes elements of more than one domain. In other words, the
aspectual system does not constitute a separately delineated grammatical
category. Instead, as in many languages, aspect in SCQ is tightly
interwoven with tense and with modality. This study also presents a
detailed analysis of the less explored grammatical interfaces linking
aspect with manner and with middle voice.

Aspect and aspectual interfaces in Quechua provide a particularly rich
environment in which to investigate emergent properties of grammar. Even
though recurring discourse patterns have crystallized over time into
relatively stable linguistic structures, such as aspect markers, their
grammatical meanings continue to evolve. The frequency and distribution of
these markers in SCQ discourse suggest trajectories and motivations for
their ongoing grammatical development, occasionally across semantic
domains. In addition, foreign patterns and forms exert an influence, and
new aspectualizers develop in the form of analytic verbal constructions. By
examining the larger context of constructions in connected SCQ speech,
complemented by patterns and structures across the language family, we can
observe a grammatical system in the making.

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