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Chimariko Grammar: Areal and Typological Perspective

Carmen Jany
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Pages: 262
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  • Book Info
    Chimariko Grammar
    Book Description:

    The Chimariko language, now extinct, was spoken in Trinity County, California. This reference grammar, based on data collected by Harrington in the 1920's, represents the most comprehensive description of the language. Written from a functional-typological perspective this work also examines language contact in Northern California showing that grammatical traits are often shared among genetically unrelated languages in geographically contiguous areas.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94519-7
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xv-xv)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvi-xvi)
  6. Abstract
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    (pp. 1-14)

    The Chimariko language was spoken in the nineteenth century in a few small villages in Trinity County, in north-western California. The villages were located along a twenty-mile stretch of the Trinity River and parts of the New River and South Fork River. In 1849, the Chimariko numbered around two hundred and fifty people. They were nearly extinct in 1906, except for a ‘toothless old woman and a crazy old man’, as well as ‘a few mixed bloods’ (Kroeber 1925:109). The ‘toothless old woman’ Kroeber refers to was most likely Polly Dyer and the ‘crazy old man’ Dr. Tom, also identified...

    (pp. 15-32)

    The Chimariko phoneme inventory is very similar to that of its neighbors, having a complex consonant system and a simple vowel system. It is based on Harrington’s data collected from Sally Noble.

    Chimariko has a complex consonant inventory and shows some typologically common allophonic variations. Consonant inventory. Chimariko has a large consonant inventory with 33 phonemes: 27 obstruents and 6 sonorants. Not all phonemes have been attested for all speakers (see Berman 2001 and Grekoff 1950-1999). Stops,fricatives,and affricates. Stops occur in three series: plain, ejective, and aspirated. They distinguish five places of articulation: bilabial, alveolar, post-alveolar,...

    (pp. 33-46)

    This chapter describes phonological alternation operations that are specific to certain domains of the morphology, such as different verb stem categories yielding different shapes in the pronominal affixes, as well as the processes determining the shapes of the negative affixes and others. Many of these processes affect the vowels of morphemes (backing, assimilation, elision). Some also affect the consonants (elision, metathesis).

    Pronominal affixes show a C or CV structure with vowel elision in certain environments. The position of the pronominal affix, i.e. prefixed or suffixed, depends on the verb stem class. Pronominal affixes are suffixed only in one verb stem...

    (pp. 47-70)

    This chapter describes lexical categories and the criteria used for their distinction, i.e. their particular morphological and syntactic behavior. Chimariko distinguishes nouns, pronouns, adjectives, numerals, quantifiers, verbs, adverbs, copulas, particles, adpositions, and interjections. The status of adpositions is not clear.

    Nominal stems differ from verbal stems in that they can take possessive, privative, locative, and definite affixes, as well as case suffixes marking instruments or companions. It is unclear whether the locative is an affix or a postposition (see 5.5.1). Nominal stems may occur without any affixes, while verbal stems do not.

    1. with possessive affix (from ‘Cutting finger when cleaning...

    (pp. 71-88)

    This chapter describes the internal structure of nouns, as well as word formation processes such as compounding. It is divided into inflectional and derivational morphology.

    Chimariko has few inflectional morphemes on nominal stems: possessives, definite markers, and locative affixes, as well as case suffixes marking instruments and companions. Inflectional morphemes are either prefixed or suffixed.

    Possession is marked on the possessed. Possessive affixes have for the most part the same forms as verbal pronominal affixes, and they are equally either prefixed or suffixed. The difference in the affixing pattern shows a contrast between alienable and inalienable possession.

    Except for the...

    (pp. 89-94)

    This chapter describes the internal structure of pronouns. Pronouns have a limited set of suffixes that are mainly derivational.

    Personal pronouns show a number distinction for first and second person, in addition to a distinction between first, second, and third person. The root for first person isna-, and the root for second person ismam-. In the first person plural pronoun a segment -čʰiis added to the root, similar in shape to the bound pronominal affixčʰa- encoding first person plural patient forms. In the second person plural form a segment -qʰeis added, similar in shape to...

    (pp. 95-98)

    This chapter describes the structure of adjectives. Corresponding adjectives and stative verbs are built on the same roots. They can take pronominal, tense, aspect, and modal affixes.

    Adjectives in predicative function can take pronominal, tense, aspect, and modal affixes.

    1. ‘Fugitives at Burnt Ranch’

    čʰaxakʰona, wečʰup čʰaxakʰona, ˀama xoliˀyu

    čʰa-x-akʰo-na wečʰup čʰa-x-akʰo-na ˀama xoliˀ-yu

    IMP.PL-NEG-kill-NEG some IMP.PL-NEG-kill-NEG country bad-ADM

    ‘Don’t kill them, some said don’t kill them, lest it spoil the country’

    xoliˀtaˀn hakʰot, xawiy asunda, xukeenat

    xoliˀ-taˀn h-akʰo-t xawiy asu-nda x-ukee-na-t

    bad-INF 3-kill-ASP Redwood.Indian be-ASP NEG-understand-NEG-ASP

    ‘It is not right to kill him, he was a Redwood Indian, he...

    (pp. 99-140)

    This chapter describes the internal structure of verbs and certain word formation processes that lead to new verb stems, such as noun incorporation and reduplication, among others. Verbs have prefixes, suffixes, and a circumfix. The chapter is divided into inflectional and derivational morphology.

    Chimariko has inflectional morphemes on verb stems that mark the following: pronominal reference, tense, aspect, and modality. Only pronominal affixes are sometimes prefixed. All other inflectional affixes are suffixes. The verb templates in Table 1 illustrate the sequence of morphemes.

    Bound pronouns are obligatory and mark the arguments in a clause. They appear on the verb, whether...

    (pp. 141-170)

    This chapter describes the structure of simple sentences, i.e. sentences with one predicate. Word order, argument structure, argument structure alternations, transitivity, and predicate nominals, among other topics, are treated.

    Word order in the oral narratives is predominantly verb-final, as in examples 1 and 2. Verbs are underlined and clauses are in brackets in the examples.

    1. ‘Mrs Bussell’

    ˀawaidače xowonat, šičel hiwontat

    [ˀawa-ida-če x-owo-na-t] [šiˀčel h-iwonta-t]

    home-POSS-LOC NEG-stay-NEG-ASP horse 3-ride-ASP

    ‘She does not stay at home, she goes around on horseback’

    huwaktat, ˀiṭi sumusut, hopew ˀičʰuˀnan

    [h-uwa-kta-t] [ˀṭi sumu-su-t] [hopew ˀ-ičʰuˀna-n]

    3-go-DIR-ASP man like-be-ASP acorn.soup 1SG.A-eat-ASP

    ‘She goes around, like a...

  16. 10. QUESTIONS
    (pp. 171-176)

    This chapter describes the strategies used to form yes/no and question-word questions, as well as the structure of answers to questions.

    Yes/no questions are formed by adding an interrogative suffix predicate-finally. There are three different interrogative suffixes:-(a)ˀ,-titaˀ/-itaˀ, and-pʰuˀ. It is unclear how their meanings and functions differ from one another. All three also occur in question-word questions.

    1. ‘On grandmother getting the hiccups’

    mamot maš mipuhunmat hita, mamuš hita mipuhunmuˀ

    mamot maš m-ipu-hunma-t hita mamuš hita m-ipu-hunmu-ˀ

    2SG but 2SG-work-DIR-ASP lots lots 2SG-work-DIR-Q

    ‘But you took lots, but did you take lots’

    2. Harrington 020-0470

    mamot č’imartidaˀ


  17. 11. NEGATION
    (pp. 177-184)

    This chapter describes clausal negation. In addition, strategies used to form negative imperatives and admonitives, negative existentials, and negative questions and answers are presented. No examples of constituent negation occur in the available data.

    Chimariko has three different strategies for negating clauses: (1) the verbal circumfixx-‥-na, (2) the suffix-kuna/-k’una/-ˀna, and (3) the particlekuna/k’una. The circumfixx-‥-naoccurs only with the verb stem classes that take pronominal prefixes;-kuna/-k’una/-ˀnaoccurs with all verb stem classes and with predicate nominals. Both may be followed by other modal or by tense-aspect suffixes. It is unclear whether the negation circumfix and...

    (pp. 185-198)

    This chapter describes the structure of complex sentences, i.e. clause coordination, complement clauses, relative clauses, and adverbial clauses. There is morphosyntactic evidence for clause combining in relative clauses and adverbial clauses, as well as in the complementation construction withimiˀna‘to want’.

    There is no morphosyntactic clause coordination. Chimariko does not have a conjunction with the meaning ‘and’. Other words, however, may be analyzed as clause connectives (see 5.8.5). The wordhaṭu‘then’ could be either an adverb or a conjunction. No morphological or syntactic criteria point to one or the other. Nevertheless, adverbs occur most often clause-initially, whilehaṭu...

    (pp. 199-204)

    This chapter describes Chimariko discourse structure. Data are available for one discourse genre only: oral narratives. Eleven narratives are examined, two long stories and nine short texts.

    The narratives examined have similar structure and style with many repetitions of single words and even of entire clauses. The consistent repetitions are not random, but rather deliberate and regular. A repeated segment often elaborates on a particular point of the narrative adding a new piece of information or emphasizing a main point. The following examples illustrate this. Repetitions are underlined.

    1. ‘Fugitives at Burnt Ranch’

    načʰidot yakʰorot xukeenat, qʰakʰodaˀn xoliˀtaˀn

    načʰidot ya-kʰo-rot x-ukee-na-t...

    (pp. 205-212)

    There are various factors that make languages the same or different: the physiological properties of humans, the need to communicate and to convey messages, genetic affiliation, and language contact, among others. Often, it is difficult to distinguish shared linguistic features attributed to genetic affiliation from those attributed to language contact, in particular if there is intense contact for centuries, and if there are no written records, as with Chimariko. The present work is intended to address this and other issues related to language contact by identifying similarities to neighboring languages attributed to language contact rather than to genetic affiliation. In...

    (pp. 213-234)
    (pp. 235-243)