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mar. 23/11/2021 Séminaire de recherche DiLiS
"From historical data to linguistic typology: A perspective from northern Chaco"
MSH-LSE, salle Ennat Leger (et visio)
Conférence de :
  • Luca Ciucci (The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia)

dans le cadre DILIS

This talk will show how historical data can contribute to linguistic typology with examples from Old Zamuco, a Zamucoan language spoken in the 18th century in the northern Chaco lowland of South America. The main source of information on this language is a dictionary written by the French Jesuit Ignace Chomé (1696-1768), who also documented neighboring Chiquitano (unclassified), the language of evangelization in the Jesuit missions of southeastern Bolivia. Chomé’s Old Zamuco dictionary was recently discovered (Ciucci 2018) along with Chomé’s Chiquitano manuscripts. Based on data from the upcoming critical edition of the Old Zamuco dictionary (Ciucci, Forthcoming), I will first discuss the inflection of nouns and adjectives, which displays a dedicated form for nominal predication and two forms for argument marking, which are distinguished by referential specificity. Although this threefold system is unique to Zamucoan, the predicate vs. argument contrast shows typological similarities with Tupi-Guarani (Bertinetto et al. 2019). The new Old Zamuco historical data allowed me to identify possessive classifiers and analyze their morphosyntax: Old Zamuco classifiers agree in gender and number with the possessed (Ciucci & Bertinetto 2019), which is a typological rarum (Aikhenvald 2000; Kilarski & Alassonière-Tang 2021). While such agreement features characterize the Zamucoan family, comparison with other Chaco languages reveals traces of areal diffusion (Ciucci 2020).


  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2000. Classifiers: A typology of noun categorization devices. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bertinetto, Pier Marco, Luca Ciucci & Margherita Farina 2019. Two types of morphologically expressed non-verbal predication. Studies in Language 43, 1. 120-194.
  • Ciucci, Luca 2018. Lexicography in the Eighteenth-century Gran Chaco: The Old Zamuco dictionary by Ignace Chomé. In Jaka Čibej, Vojko Gorjanc, Iztok Kosem & Simon Krek (eds.). Proceedings of the XVIII EURALEX International Congress: Lexicography in Global Contexts. Ljubljana: Ljubljana University Press. 439-451.
  • Ciucci, Luca 2020. Matter borrowing, pattern borrowing and typological rarities in the Gran Chaco of South America. Morphology 30, 4. 283-310.
  • Ciucci, Luca (ed.) (Forthcoming). Ignace Chomé: Vocabulario de la lengua zamuca - Edición crítica y comentario lingüístico. Madrid/Frankfurt: Iberoamericana Vervuert Verlag.
  • Ciucci, Luca & Pier Marco Bertinetto 2019. Possessive classifiers in Zamucoan. In Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald & Elena Mihas (eds.). Genders and classifiers: A cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 144-175.
  • Kilarski, Marcin & Marc Allassonnière-Tang 2021. Classifiers in Morphology. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics 28 June 2021. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Link to meeting: https://cnrs.zoom.us/j/98600447099?pwd=aTYrSEVkMkVzMWZiS0hhS2tGOFZVZz09

  • mar. 23/11/2021 Atelier "Méthodes" - Axe Dendy - Discussion CER de Lyon
    MSH-LSE - Salle Ennat Léger

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