15.3599, Diss: Syntax: de Souza: 'BAKAIRI ...'

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LINGUIST List: Vol-15-3599. Thu Dec 30 2004. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 15.3599, Diss: Syntax: de Souza: 'BAKAIRI ...'

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1)
Date: 17-Dec-2004
From: Tania Conceição de Souza < taniaccs at esquadro.com.br >
Subject: BAKAIRI (SOUTHERN BRAZIL CARIB) - A syntactically ergative Brazilian indigenous language with diathesis inversion 

	
-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 08:04:43
From: Tania Conceição de Souza < taniaccs at esquadro.com.br >
Subject: BAKAIRI (SOUTHERN BRAZIL CARIB) - A syntactically ergative Brazilian indigenous language with diathesis inversion  
 

Institution: Federal University of Juiz de Fora
Program: Linguistics 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 1994 

Author: Tania Clemente de Souza

Dissertation Title: BAKAIRI (SOUTHERN BRAZIL CARIB) - A syntactically ergative
Brazilian indigenous language  with diathesis inversion 

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): Bakairí (BKQ)


Dissertation Director(s):
Charlotte Galvez
Eni P. Orlandi

Dissertation Abstract:

Based on the analysis of a 36 hour -  long recorded corpus, this dissertation 
has as its main purpose the  analysis of the syntax- discourse relation in 
Bakairi.  It is divided in  two parts: (i) the analysis of the syntactic structure 
of the language;  and (ii) the analysis of the discoursive materiality, which 
has an  innately syntactic constitution. 
            
As far syntax is concerned, the most outstanding conclusion is  that Bakairi 
is a syntactically ergative language. As there are no nominal  case markers, 
the ergativity is expressed by the verbal prefix markers  referring to the 
subject of the intransitive verb or to the object of the  transitive verb 
(absolutive case), in opposition to the subject of the  transitive verb 
(ergative case). This type of system affects the syntactic  constitution of the 
language as whole, since it restricts the mechanisms  of co-referentiality 
and control. 
           
The correlation of syntactically distinct arguments is done  through two 
main mechanisms. The correlation of arguments with different  nature is 
done through the prefixation of a morpheme to the verbal root  which 
allows co-referentiality. 
          
In theoretical terms, considering the notion of opacity (Chomsky,  1980;  
Williams, 1980), this morpheme - usually defined as an ordinary  
intrasitivizer by Karib researchers - was redefined by the author as a  
diathesis inversor. The correlation of the transitive argument with the  
direct object is done through a cleft structure derived by movement. Such  
analysis contradicts the presuppositions of Marantz (1984), since clefting  
would point to a PRO structure, without movement. 
          
According to the author, the greatest gain, regarding the  functioning of 
these structures in discourse, is to verify how the two  mechanisms above 
articulate to compose the discursive web. She is then  able to show the 
global language operation, placing the description of  co-referentiality 
processes in the scope of discourse, connected to the  structures of focus 
and topicalization.





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