11553 - Directionals and posturals in Araona

Araona is, a Tacana language spoken in northwestern Bolivia (Amazonia), along the headwaters of the Manopare and Manorimi river, by about 150 people. It is an agglutinative language with ergative-absolutive case marking. Its verbal morphology is very complex.

Categories expressed in the verb are tense, mood, modality, evidentiality, aspect, directionals and posturals.  Directionals and posturals are suffixes. Positional (postural) and directional suffixes can occur together on the main verb.

Verbal categories fall into two groups: core verbal categories and non-core verbal categories. Whilst core verbal categories always attach to the verb stem, non-core categories may be carried by auxiliary verbs. Directionals constitute a core verbal category - immediately following the verb root - whereas postural do not.
Directional and postural suffixes share the property of being S/O oriented. Directional suffixes give information on the direction an S argument is moving in or an O argument is moved. Postural suffixes provide information on the position or posture of a person or an item. They specify the position of the S argument in intransitive clauses, and the O argument in transitive clauses.

Postural suffixes are focus-sensitive in negation. In a negated transitive clause the postural suffix only occurs if the transitive object is in focus.

All posturals and two directionals come from verbs. This warrants an alternative analysis as parts of asymmetrical serial verb constructions or compounds since they occur as independent posture verbs. Postural and aspectual meanings are frequently expressed through serial verb constructions or compounds. The analysis is refuted for phonological reasons.

In this paper an overview will be given on all postural and directional suffixes in Araona.  They will be analyzed with respect to their meaning and use, taking syntactic properties and grammaticalization processes into account. The data stems from own fieldwork .

Keywords: Motion, directions, posture, argument allignment, grammaticailzation, Tacana

Author: Emkow, Carola (Free University of Berlin, Germany / Deutschland)


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