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ven. 01/06/2018 Séminaire DTT - Conférence de Maurice Pico (Universiteit Leiden)
The feedback between syntax and functions of determiners in Yokot'an
14h-16h
ISH - Salle Berty Albrecht

The purpose of this talk is to discuss my ongoing research of the NP in Yokot'an (a Mayan language of the Cholan branch spoken in Mexico), situating the grammaticalization of the article ni within the wider context of NP syntactic structure.

It has been proposed that definite articles in the Cholan branch have raised through syntactic reanalysis of clefted (complex) clauses into dislocated (simplex) clauses (Becquey 2014, building on Mora-Marin 2009). This involves an implicit adjustment of the NP syntactic integrity whereby a non-verbal clefted predication is now reinterpreted as a single “articled” NP constituent preceded by a demonstrative-like focus marker. This interaction between information structure, clausal structure and NP structure leads to the following questions. What should count as an article? And what is the mutual feedback between function and the syntactic distribution of nominal determiners?

Following ideas by Himmelman (1997) on the link between article grammaticalization and the emergence of the syntactic structure in NPs, I wish to explore the relation between the syntactic structure of the NP in Yokot'an and the functionality of deictic enclitics, demonstratives and the definite article.

References

Becquey, Cédric. 2014. Diasystème, Diachronie. Études comparées dans les langues cholanes. PhD Dissertation, Utrecht: LOT.

Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 1997. Deiktikon, Artikel, Nominalphrase: Zur Emergenz Syntaktischer Struktur. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2009. The reconstruction of the Proto-Cholan demonstrative pronouns, deictic enclitics, and definite articles. Transactions of the Philological Society 107(1), 98-129.


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