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MORPHOSYNTACTIC ALIGNMENT OF HÑÄHÑU (MEZQUITAL VALLEY OTOMI)

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posted on 2021-03-24, 12:09 authored by Néstor Hernández-Green

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the subject and object alignments in Hñähñu (Mezquital Valley Otomi), and compares some of their grammatical, lexical, and semantic features to those in the corresponding descriptions of Querétaro Otomi and Acazulco Otomi. The analysis presented is based on the characterization of semantic alignment by Mithun (1991) and Donohue (2008), and that of object alignment by Dryer (1986) and Haspelmath (2005); thematic roles are defined by following Bickel's (2012) grammatical relation typology. With respect to subject alignment, the split-S systems in the three languages being compared has two classes of intransitive verbs: verbs with a non-agentive S (O-verbs), and the rest (A-verbs). The three languages differ in the number of lexemes within the O-verb class, and in the number of fluid-S verbs; the morphology of O-verbs presents minor contrasts among the three. As for object alignment, the mixed characterization (i.e., indirective, as well as secundative, features) of the Hñähñu system derived from four morphosyntactic criteria suggests that the marking of object in Otomi languages obeys mechanisms that go beyond thematic roles.

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