LINGUIST List 14.1275

Tue May 6 2003

Books: Syntax, Mayan: Lois, Vapnarsky

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  1. LINCOM.EUROPA, Polyvalence of root classes in Yukatekan Mayan languages

Message 1: Polyvalence of root classes in Yukatekan Mayan languages

Date: Tue, 06 May 2003 13:55:53 +0000
Subject: Polyvalence of root classes in Yukatekan Mayan languages

Title: Polyvalence of root classes in Yukatekan Mayan languages
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Native American Linguistics 47
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Availability: Available
Author: Ximena Lois
Author: Valentina Vapnarsky 

Hardback: ISBN: 3895867071, Pages: 246, Price: USD 68 / EUR 62 / GBP
Comment: Student/Course Discount: 40%

Lexical categories exhibit parametric variation across languages. Most
Indo-European languages reveal a rich pattern of derivation between
nouns and verbs. Mayan languages in general have less recourse to
derivational processes resulting in formal similarities between verbs
and nouns at the level of morphophonology and morphosyntax. Focusing
on Yukatekan languages, this book shows that these similarities occurr
even at the lexical root level. This leads us to review previous root
classifications and to propose a large verbonominal root class that we
oppose to another main class, the nominal roots. The verbonominal
class includes traditional transitive roots and intransitive roots, as
well as agent-salient roots that are commonly considered to be nominal
roots. Such a system can account for the categorial flexibility
exhibited by Mayan roots and allows us to formulate generalizations
missing in previous classifications.

A new conception of the role of phonology and of morphophonological
processes in Mayan languages is proposed. We introduce the notion of
instantiation, a twofold process that encompass the formation of
phonological profiles (determination of the vowel in the general
template CVC) and morphological profiles (inflection). Instantiation
handles root-class polyvalence and subsumes the so-called voices
traditionally considered to be derivational in nature. The link
between the split-ergativity system exhibited in Yukatekan languages
and properties of verbonominal roots is exhamined. The final part
deals with the intricate categories of positionnals and
affectives. Extensive lists of members of the different root classes
are given in Appendices.
Lingfield(s): Syntax
Language Family(ies): Mayan

Written In: English (Language Code: English)

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