11671 - Animacy hierarchies effects in East Cree

Animacy hierarchies effects in East Cre East Cree is an Algonquian language of the Cree-Innu dialect continuum still spoken in Northern Quebec by 13 000 speakers. The recent completion of the full documentation of the verb paradigms in all dialects [1] allows us to take a comprehensive look at person hierarchies effects and evaluate the validity of previously proposed explanations for partial datasets of this language. In particular, the I-YOU interactions and the question of whether or not these forms involve an Inverse system with a YOU over I hierarchy [2], the question of the morphological opacity of forms for certain person interactions [3], animate and inanimate third persons interactions within the obviative system (the obligatory marking of non-topic third person discourse and sentential arguments) [4], word order effects for full arguments [5], passive and inverse systems and syntactic effects such as argument deletion and argument licensing [6]. Disjoint reference effects that show both on nouns and verbs for possessive constructions [7]. Evidence from language attrition and erosion of forms also points to areas where the animacy hierarchies role could be diminished in future states of the language. Finally, the validity of postulating an animacy hierarchy will be examined to determine its explanatory and predictive power for all the detailed aspect of the language data in question. Note: due to space limitations, references numbered [1]-[7] had to be deleted and were sent by e-mail to the convener.

Keywords: Animacy hierarchies, East Cree, Algonquian languages

Author: Junker, Marie-Odile (Carleton University, Canada, Canada / Kanada)


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