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Academic Paper

Title: The synchrony and diachrony of differential object marking in Paraguayan Guaraní
Author: Cory Shain
Institution: Ohio State University
Author: Judith Tonhauser
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Ohio State University
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: Guaraní, Paraguayan
Abstract: This paper explores the synchrony and diachrony of differential object marking in Paraguayan Guaraní on the basis of a quantitative study of a corpus of naturally occurring data of the modern language and an investigation of object marking in a 17th-century catechism. We show that both animacy and topicality, but not definiteness, affect whether a direct object is marked in modern Guaraní , a finding that has implications for cross-linguistic theories of differential object marking, not all of which recognize topicality as a factor. We also find no categorical constraints on differential object marking in Guaraní , contrary to Bossong (1985b). Our study of the 17th-century catechism provides further support for Bossong's (1985b, 2009) claim that Guaraní did not have differential object marking when it came into contact with Spanish. The paper concludes with a discussion of the hypothesis that differential object marking in Guaraní resulted from contact with Spanish.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 22, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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