Comparative work on Tupi-Guaraní (TG-) languages has long focused on the genetic relations among languages, linear historical developments and the reconstruction of proto-language (Rodrigues 1984/85, Dietrich 1990, Jensen 1990, 1998). Linguists have studied language contact less frequently, as this research is still fettered by the lack of comprehensive comparative and historical data (Cabral 1995). My research is designed to integrate aspects of grammar description with linguistic studies of language change and possible language contact. It proposes a multidialectical comparison of the Aché and Guaraní languages spoken in Paraguay. Both languages have long been considered members of the subgroup-I of the TG family (Tupi stock, cf. Rodrigues, 1985), although many authors have noticed Aché distinct features, which still obstruct easy classification (Rodrigues 2000, Dietrich 1990, 2010). I aim to contribute to the discussion on language change in those TG languages that elude the more common ‘conservative’ pattern of TG-grammar. My work compares the ‘typical’ TG morphosyntax features, mainly of agreement patterns in transitive constructions, constituent order and valency changes with the striking differences in the Aché grammar. In general bound functional morphemes are reduced. No reflexes of the TG markers for agreement and valency change are attested in Aché (Rößler 2008). The question arises how distinct morphological structures associate to syntactic features. Are there reflexes of the (1>2>3) person hierarchy left in Aché transitive construction? What determines transitive word order? How are reciprocal, reflexives/passives and causatives constructions coded in Aché? I defend that an in-depth comparison of the morphology/syntax interface throughout different varieties of Aché and Guaraní will shed light on grammar change in Aché and consequently helps to disambiguates its genetic classification.

Palabras claves: Tupi-Guarani, Aché, morphology / syntax, language change

Autores: Rößler, Eva-Maria (Goethe University of Frankfurt M. (Germany) and State University of Campinas (Brazil), Brazil / Brasilien)


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