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ven. 22/09/2017 Séminaire DTT - Conférence Albert Álvarez (Universidad de Sonora, Mexico)

The discursive origin of interclausal connectives in Yaqui (Uto-Aztecan)

This paper aims to show and explain the evolutionary path through which a discourse marker of the Yaqui language (Uto-Aztecan) has been recruited for interclausal connectivity purposes. The main point of this study is to propose that two Yaqui interclausal connectives (bwe’ituk and bweta) are the result of a recent formation process that combines a discourse marker (bwe) and linguistic elements associated with the strategies used in the past for marking cause/reason clauses and adversative clauses in Yaqui (Buelna 1890). I will argue that these formations are functionally motivated by the fact that bwe is a discourse connective of discontinuity, that is, a discourse marker that introduces a topic shift. Based on this connecting function, the element bwe has been recruited from discourse to syntax, in order to participate in the creation of two new interclausal connectives that also correspond to thematic reorientation devices: the cause/reason adverbial connectivebwe’ituk and the adversative connective bweta. In the case of reason/cause adverbial clauses, the creation of an adverbial connective out of a discourse marker also illustrates a process of explicitness-driven maturation (Dahl 2004, Bisang 2014), going from economy (hidden complexity) to explicitness (overt complexity), that is, from a multifunctional structure (a participial clause possibly associated with temporal, conditional, purpose and causal interpretations) to a monofunctional structure associated only with a causal interpretation.

Bisang, Walter. 2014. Overt and hidden complexity—two types of complexity and their implications. Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 50(2): 127-143. Buelna, Eustaquio (ed). 1890. Arte de la Lengua Cahita. México: Imprenta del Gobierno Federal. Dahl, Östen. 2004. The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.



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