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History and Ecology of Language and languages

Themes and actions

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The Diachrony of Subject Marking in the Sáliban Languages

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Scientific framework and objectives

A part of my doctoral research, this project seeks to understand the diachronic processes that resulted in the present-day subject-marking strategies observed in Mako [wpc], Piaroa [pid], and Sáliba [slc], the three members of the Sáliban language family. In these three languages, subjects are cross-referenced on the verb via either a set of prefixes that immediately precede the verb root or a set of suffixes that immediately follow the verb root. This, I have argued, is the result of the interaction between a copula grammaticalization process whereby erstwhile copulas became verbal suffixes and a phonotactic constraint for (C)V syllables.

  Financial support

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

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