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’Me’, ’us’, and ’others’: Expressing the self in Arawak languages of South America, with a focus on Tariana
chapterposted on 21.06.2022, 01:28 authored by Alexandra AikhenvaldAlexandra Aikhenvald
The Arawak language family is the largest in South America in terms of its geographical spread, with over forty extant languages. Arawak languages are spoken in at least ten locations north of the Amazon, and in at least ten south of it, and are structurally diverse. Across the family, the expression of first person is relatively consistent. This chapter starts with an overview of its marking and its meanings, with special focus on the emergence of inclusive/exclusive forms through language-internal resources and contact-induced change, followed by a case study of the means involved in the expression of first person, or ’self’, and ’other’ in Tariana, a well-documented Arawak language from the multilingual Vaupés River Basin linguistic area in northwest Amazonia. These involve person markers, exponents of future, and evidentiality (or grammatical expression of information source). Special narrative techniques and expression reveal the role of ’self’ in Tariana verbal art.