Tracing the emergence of inflectional tone in CuicatecReport as inadecuate

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1 SMG - Surrey Morphology Group 2 SeDyL - Structure et Dynamique des Langues

Abstract : In this paper, we study a number of relevant aspects of the aspectual inflection of Cuicatec, an Oto-Manguean language of Mexico. We show that the inflection of Cuicatec, which involves tone, displays a great degree of morphological complexity as a result of the following factors: a Verbs can be said to fall into a large number of inflectional classes according to the affix patterns they select for their aspectual inflection.b The same verbs fall into other inflectional classes according to the tone pattern they select for the same purpose.c Affixal morphology and tonal morphology operate as two independent systems of inflection, but they show areas of interconnection. Some of these areas are traces of lexical tones associated with prefixes which we claim were then reanalyzed as inflectional formatives.dSimilarly, the inherent structural intricacies of the system are such that they give way to other alternative analyses, but whatever analysis is taken at the end, the complexity is still not greatly reduced.eWhichever analysis is adopted as a means of explaining the inflectional system, it invariably only accounts for a portion of the inflection system, leving behind a plethora of ‘loose ends’ and exceptions.

Keywords : Cuicatec Mixtecan Oto-Manguean Inflectional morphology tone

Author: Timothy Feist - Enrique L. Palancar -



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