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9696 - The grammar of space and movement in Oro Win

The Oro Win language, a member of the Chapacuran linguistic family spoken in the southwestern Brazilian Amazon, displays a number of interesting grammatical properties relating to space and movement, both in terms of the treatment and realization of arguments as well as the formation of predicates. Together, these grammatical properties form an elegant system for the expression of motion across space. At the argument level, Oro Win expresses spatial deixis through a demonstrative system that encodes physical proximity or distance of the argument in relation to either the speaker or the addressee of the speech act. Within the clause, locational arguments, such as goal and source of motion, often display properties associated with core arguments in the language, such as verbal cross-reference, structural position and lack of preposition marking. At the predicate level, motion events tend to be composed of a number of smaller semantic units (independent verbs and adverbials) combining various frames of reference into rich verb serialization constructions representing the complexity of the motion event, as in example (1) below. (1) awin maw tyt ma’ n-an grab leave walk thither 3sg.nfut-3n ‘He took it away’ In addition to the serialization of verbs, predicates can also be modified by a class of adverbials that uses the course of a relevant body of water as a frame of reference, or roughly, an upriver/downriver system, as in example (2) below. (2) mo piri’ ki na go upriver hither 3sg.nfut ‘He came (from downstream)’ Drawing from original data collected through the recording of traditional narratives and spontaneous conversations, as well as the use of visual elicitation stimuli, this paper gives an overview of the various grammatical strategies used in Oro Win to express one of the most fundamental aspects of our daily lives- how we move about the world around us.

Palabras claves: motion events, serialization, Chapacura

Autores: Birchall, Joshua (Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands / Niederlande)

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