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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Adverbial Clauses in Barbareño Chumash Narrative Discourse Add Dissertation
Author: Suzanne Wash Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara, Linguistics Department
Completed in: 2001
Linguistic Subfield(s): Discourse Analysis; Syntax; Typology;
Subject Language(s): Chumash
Director(s): Susanna Cumming
Wallace Chafe
Kathryn Klar
Ken Whistler
Marianne Mithun

Abstract: This dissertation presents the first study of adverbial clauses in Barbareño Chumash, an indigenous language of California. It explores the semantic relations, morphosyntactic structure, and discourse functions of adverbial clauses in this language, with a view toward what is known and expected about adverbial clauses crosslinguistically, and from a functionally-oriented approach to linguistics. Almost all of the data come from narratives recorded in the 1950s by John P. Harrington from Mary Yee, the last speaker of the Barbareño Chumash language.

The dissertation has 24 chapters and is divided into five parts. Part I is the preliminaries. It includes a detailed grammatical sketch of the Barbareño Chumash language. In Part II, I analyze the semantic and morphosyntactic characteristics of thirteen structurally-distinguishable adverbial clause types. The adverbial clauses code temporal, conditional, concessive, purposive, reason/causal, manner, and semantically neutral relations. Semantically neutral adverbial clauses have both temporal and conditional meanings, and though most researchers treat such clauses as conditional, in this study I treat them as a category separate from the temporal and conditional categories. In Part III, I compare the initial and final tokens of these clause types with respect to similarities and differences in structure, extent of scope, and punctuation/prosodic boundaries. In Part IV, I focus on the similarities and differences in discourse functions between initial and final clauses that code purposive, conditional, temporal and semantically neutral relations. In addition to their qualifying role, the initial adverbial clauses function as pivotal points of orientation that help create a cohesive and coherent text. However, the final adverbial clauses only serve to qualify the main clause. They do not function as pivotal points of orientation in the texts. These differences between initial and final adverbial clauses are found crosslinguistically, and reflect the general cognitive processes involved in the production and comprehension of discourse. Finally, I conclude this study with the closing remarks in Part V.