Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter (A) August 3, 2018

Verb-framed spatial deixis in Mesoamerican languages and the increasing complexity of source constructions via Spanish de

Maja Robbers and Nicole Hober

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the non-overt marking of spatial relations in the Mesoamerican area with regard to the relationship between spatial interrogatives and spatial declaratives. It is argued that languages which indiscriminately employ the same word form as spatial deictic interrogative for all three basic spatial relations, place, goal and source, do not employ grammaticalized markers for allative and/or ablative functions. Instead they rely on motion verb constructions the semantics of which determine the spatial reference as well as the direction of motion. These systems, however, change via the intrusion of the Spanish preposition de.

Acknowledgments

We are deeply grateful to José Antonio Flores Farfán (CIESAS, Mexico D.F.) and Thomas Stolz (Bremen) for being outstanding teachers and great inspirers to work with indigenous languages of Mesoamerica. Alan R. King provided us with valuable information as to modern Nawat for which we cannot thank him enough. Ultimately, Jean-Léo Léonard, Victorino Torres Nava, Nataliya Levkovych, Christel Stolz and Julia Nintemann were of great help by commenting on draft versions. Nevertheless, the responsibility of all errors committed in this paper lies with us.

Abbreviations

1/2/3

1st/2nd/3rd person

a

series agent/possessor

abs

absolutive

ag

agent

art

article

ass

assertive

AUC

argument uniqueness constraint

aux

auxiliary

b

series undergoer/theme

caus

causative

cl

classifier

cmp

completive

con

connector

d1

proximal deictic particle

d2

distal/anaphoric particle

d3

text-deictic particle

def

definite

dem

demonstrative

dept

dependent transitive

desid

desiderative

det

determiner

dir

directional

e

ergative

emph

emphatic

enc

enclitic

ex

existential

excl

exclusive

fil

filler

fut

future tense

G

goal

imp

imperative

impfv

imperfective

incl

incompletive aspect

ind

indicative

intr

intransitive

ints

intensifier

link

linker

loc

locative

neg

negator

nf

non-finite

nrld

non-realized

obj

object

P

place

part

participle

pass

passive

perf

perfective

pl

plural

poss

possessor

ppos

postposition

prep

preposition

recp

reciprocal

red

reduplication

refl

reflexive

rel

relational/relativizer

S

source

SAE

Standard Average European

SDD

spatial deictic declarative

sg

singular

SI

spatial interrogative

top

topic

trns

transitive

vrbl

verbalizer

xerg

first person exclusive ergative

Sources

[AMP]Amplified Bible © 2015, The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90 631.
[ARNNT]Ngünechen ñi Küme Dungu (Mapudungun, Chile) © 2011, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc.
[CTUNT]Jini wen bʌ tʼan (Chol, Tila) © 1976, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc.
[EXB]Expanded Bible © 2011, Thomas Nelson.
[MAYABI]Biblia Maya (Yucateco-Màaya) © 1992, Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas.
[MOPNT]Le'ec Ada' U T'an A Dios A Tumulbene (Mopán Maya) © 2012, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc.
[NBTN]Ne Bibliaj Tik Nawat. © 2013, Jan Morrow.
[NGU]In Yenkuik Iyektlajtoltsin Dios (Náhuatl de Guerrero) © 1987, La Liga *Bíblica.
[POINT]Jém jomipɨc trato jém iwatnewɨɨp tánomi Jesucristo (Highland Popoluca) © 2009, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc.
[TZOZNT]Sc'op riox: ja' li' yaloj ti chac' jcuxlejaltic ta sbatel osli ti cajvaltic Jesucristoe (Tzotzil de Zinacantán) © 2009, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc.

References

Aburto, Pascual & P. David Mason. 2005. Vocabulario comparativo del náhuatl de Guerrero y del náhuatl de Tlamacazapa (Draft paper). Dallas: SIL International.Search in Google Scholar

Andrews, J. Richard. 2003. Introduction to Classical Nahuatl, revised edition. Norman, Oklahoma: The University of Oklahoma Press. Originally published in 1975.Search in Google Scholar

Bohnemeyer, Jürgen. 2003. The unique vector constraint: The impact of direction changes on the linguistic segmentation of motion events. In Emile van der Zee & Jon Slack (eds.), Representing direction in language and space, 86–110. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260195.003.0005Search in Google Scholar

Bohnemeyer, Jürgen & Gabriela Pérez Báez. 2008. Object to path in Mesoamerica: Semantic composition of locative and motion descriptions in Yucatec Maya and Juchitán Zapotec. Memoria del IX encuentro internacional de lingüística en el noroeste. vol. 2, 269–284. Hermosillo: Editorial UniSon.Search in Google Scholar

Bohnemeyer, Jürgen & Christel Stolz. 2006. Spatial reference in Yukatek Maya: A survey. In Stephen C. Levinson & David Wilkins (eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity, 273–310. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511486753.009Search in Google Scholar

Brown, Penelope. 2006. A sketch of the grammar of space in Tzeltal. In Steven C. Levinson & David P. Wilkins (eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511486753.008Search in Google Scholar

Campbell, Lyle. 1985. The Pipil language of El Salvador. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.10.1515/9783110881998Search in Google Scholar

Corbett, Greville G. 2005. The canonical approach to typology. In Zygmunt Frajzyngier, Adam Hodges & David S. Rood (eds.), Linguistic diversity and language theories, 25–50. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.10.1075/slcs.72.03corSearch in Google Scholar

Danziger, Eve. 1993. Getting from here to there: Right, left and deictic motion in Mopan Maya child language. Nijmegen: Cognitive Anthropology Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.Search in Google Scholar

Danziger, Eve. 1994. Out of sight, out of mind: Person, perception and function in Mopan Maya spatial deixis. Nijmegen: Cognitive Anthropology Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.10.1515/ling.1994.32.4-5.885Search in Google Scholar

De Jong Boudreault, Lynda J. 2009. A grammar of Sierra Popoluca (Soteapanec, a Mixe-Zoquean language). PhD dissertation. University of Texas, Austin.Search in Google Scholar

Elson, Benjamin F. 1989. Word order in Sierra Popoluca. In Ruth M. Brend & David G. Lockwood (eds.), The Fifteenth LACUS Forum 1988, 183–193. Lake Bluff, IL: Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States.Search in Google Scholar

Elson, Benjamin F. & Donaciano Gutiérrez G. 1999. Diccionario Popoluca de la Sierra Veracruz. México/DF: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano.Search in Google Scholar

Foster, Mary L. & George M. Foster. 1948. Sierra Popoluca speech (Smithsonian Institution Institute of Social Anthropology Publication 8). Washington: United States Government Office.Search in Google Scholar

Haviland, John B. 1991. The grammaticalization of motion (and time) in Tzotzil. Nijmegen: Cognitive Anthropology Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.Search in Google Scholar

Haviland, John B. 1993. The syntax of Tzotzil auxiliaries and directionals: The grammaticallization of ‘motion’. In David A. Peterson (ed.), Special session on syntactic issues in native American languages, 35–49. Berkeley: Berkeley Linguistics Society.10.3765/bls.v19i2.3382Search in Google Scholar

Hill, Jane H. & Kenneth C. Hill. 2004. Word order change and the penetration of Spanish de in modern Nahuatl. STUF – Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 57(1). 23–48.10.1524/stuf.2004.57.1.23Search in Google Scholar

Kaufman, Terrence S. & William M. Norman. 1984. An outline of Proto-Cholan phonology, morphology, and vocabulary. In John S. Justeson & Lyle Campbell (eds.), Phoneticism in Maya hieroglyphic writing, 77–166. Albany: State University of New York.Search in Google Scholar

Launey, Michel. 1979. Introduction à la langue et à la littérature aztèques, tome 1: Grammaire. Paris: L'Harmattan.Search in Google Scholar

Launey, Michel. 2011. An Introduction to Classical Nahuatl. Translated and adapted by Christopher Mackay. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511778001Search in Google Scholar

Levinson, Stephen C. 2003. Space in language and cognition: Explorations in cognitive diversity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511613609Search in Google Scholar

Nichols, Johanna. 1986. Head-marking and dependent-marking grammar. Language 62(1). 56–119.10.1353/lan.1986.0014Search in Google Scholar

Pantcheva, Marina. 2010. The syntactic structure of locations, goals, and sources. Linguistics 48(5). 1043–1081.10.1515/ling.2010.034Search in Google Scholar

Sasaki, Mitsuya. 2011. Classical Nahuatl locatives in typological perspectives. Tokyo University Linguistic Papers (TULIP) 31. 287–316.Search in Google Scholar

Smeets, Ineke. 2008. A grammar of Mapuche. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Stolz, Thomas. forthcoming. Deiktische Antworten auf räumliche Fragen, to appear in Angelika Wöllstein & Mechthild Habermann (eds.), Grammatiktheorie und Empirie in der germanistischen Linguistik. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.Search in Google Scholar

Stolz, Thomas, Sander Lestrade & Christel Stolz. 2014. The crosslinguistics of zero-marking of spatial relations. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.10.1524/9783050065304Search in Google Scholar

Stolz, Thomas, Nataliya Levkovych, Aina Urdze, Julia Nintemann & Maja Robbers. 2017. Spatial interrogatives in Europe and beyond: Where, Whither, Whence. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.10.1515/9783110539516Search in Google Scholar

Vázquez Álvarez, Juan Jesús. 2011. A grammar of Chol, a Mayan language. Austin, Texas: The University of Texas.Search in Google Scholar

Wälchli, Bernhard & Fernando Zúñiga. 2006. Source-Goal (in)difference and the typology of motion events in the clause. STUF – Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 59(3). 284–303.10.1524/stuf.2006.59.3.284Search in Google Scholar

Wichmann, Søren. 2007. Popoluca de Texistepec. México/DF: El Colegio de México.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2018-08-03
Published in Print: 2018-08-28

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow