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Blended grammar: Kumandene Tariana of northwest Amazonia

journal contribution
posted on 18.10.2021, 03:30 by Alexandra AikhenvaldAlexandra Aikhenvald
Kumandene Tariana, a North Arawak language, spoken by about 40 people in the community of Santa Terezinha on the Iauari river (tributary of the Vaupés River in north-west Amazonia), can be considered a new blended language. The Kumandene Tariana moved to their present location from the middle Vaupés about two generations ago. They now intermarry with the Baniwa Hohôdene, speakers of a closely related language. This agrees with the principle of 'linguistic exogamy' common to most indigenous people within the Vaupés River Basin linguistic area. With Baniwa as the majority language, Kumandene Tariana is endangered. The only other extant variety of Tariana is the Wamiarikune Tariana dialect which has undergone strong influence from Tucano, the major language of the region. As a result of their divergent development, Kumandene Tariana and Wamiarikune Tariana are not mutually intelligible. Over the past fifty years, speakers of Kumandene Tariana have acquired numerous Baniwa-like features in the grammar and lexicon. The extent of Baniwa impact on Kumandene Tariana varies depending on the speaker. Kumandene Tariana shares some similarities with other 'blended', or 'merged' languages. The influence of Baniwa is particularly instructive in the domain of verbal categories - negation, tense, aspect, and evidentiality.

History

Volume

33

Issue

1

Start Page

79

End Page

110

Number of Pages

32

ISSN

1120-2726

Publisher

Pacini Editore

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Italian Journal of Linguistics