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Vol. 52, nos. 3-4 (Fall and Winter 2010)


Contents

The Luiseño Absolutive Suffix: Diachronic Perspectives Ingo Mamet 239

Polysynthesis in Hueyapan Nahuatl: The Status of Noun Phrases, Basic Word Order, and Other Concerns Magnus Pharao Hansen 274

Person-Marked Numerals in North Alberta Beaver (Athabaskan) Olga Lovick 300

Negombo Fishermen’s Tamil: A Case of Indo-Aryan Contact-Induced Change in a Dravidian Dialect Steven Bonta 310

Derogatory Forms of Personal Names in Omani Arabic Khalsa Al Aghbari 344

Portrait of the Linguist as a Young Man: Linguistic Fieldwork on Nguna (Vanuatu) in 1966 Albert J. Schütz 358

Book Reviews

The Arapaho Language (Andrew Cowell, with Alonzo Moss, Sr.) Ives Goddard 388
Ichishkíin Sínwit: Yakama/Yakima Sahaptin Dictionary (Virginia Beavert and Sharon Hargus; Bruce Rigsby) Paul D. Kroeber 393
The Kagulu Language of Tanzania: Grammar, Texts and Vocabulary (Malin Petzell) Robert Botne 395
Language, Society, and Culture: Introducing Anthropological Linguistics (Marcel Danesi); Language, Society, and Culture: Exercise and Activity Manual (Marcel Danesi); The Anthropology of Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology (Harriet Joseph Ottenheimer); The Anthropology of Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology. Workbook, Reader (Harriet Joseph Ottenheimer) Peter Bakker 398
Publications Received 404

Abstracts

The Luiseño Absolutive Suffix: Diachronic Perspectives

Ingo Mamet
University of California, Los Angeles

Abstract. The absolutive suffix, a semantically empty nominal increment, is a typical feature of Uto-Aztecan languages. As has been suggested since the early days of comparative Uto-Aztecan research, the distribution of its allomorphs in languages of the Takic branch provides insight into specific phonological processes of the protolanguage. In Luiseño, the suffix allomorphy is especially variable and, at the same time, archaic. The purpose of this article is to correlate the prosodic structure of Luiseño nominals with that of their cognate forms outside the Takic branch and to derive conclusions about the historical developments governing the distribution of the absolutive allomorphs, especially the extent to which the stress patterns of Proto–Uto-Aztecan and a hypothetical stress-controlled consonant strengthening can account for the situation in Luiseño. There is a clear diachronic contrast between stems with the shapes CVCV́ or CV́C, which are regularly of Uto-Aztecan origin, and those exhibiting the shape CV́CV, added to the lexicon more recently. Furthermore, stem-forming suffixes are argued to play an important role in Luiseño noun formation, affecting stress patterns and choice of absolutive allomorph.

Polysynthesis in Hueyapan Nahuatl: The Status of Noun Phrases, Basic Word Order, and Other Concerns

Magnus Pharao Hansen
Brown University

Abstract. This article presents data showing that the syntax of the Nahuatl dialect spoken in Hueyapan, Morelos, Mexico has traits of nonconfigurationality: free word order and free pro-drop, with predicate-initial word order being pragmatically neutral. It permits discontinuous noun phrases and has no naturally occurring true quantifiers, suggesting that noun phrases in Hueyapan Nahuatl are adjuncts rather than actual arguments. These findings are contrasted with those of an earlier study by Jeffrey MacSwan, who concludes that Nahuatl syntax has relatively fixed subject-verb-object word order. It is suggested that the differences observed between the two Nahuatl varieties may be a result of methodological problems in MacSwan’s collection of data, skewing it in the direction of a more rigid syntax.

Person-Marked Numerals in North Alberta Beaver (Athabaskan)

Olga Lovick
First Nations University of Canada

Abstract. This article describes person-marked numerals in North Alberta Beaver, a dialect of Beaver Athabaskan. North Alberta Beaver numerals are frozen complex forms consisting of a numeral stem incorporated into a form of the verb theme d + Ø + t’yii ‘to be thus’. By illustrating how the word category of numerals is formed through reanalysis of existing verbal paradigms, this article contributes to the typology of numerals and to the description of minor word categories in Athabaskan.

Negombo Fishermen’s Tamil: A Case of Indo-Aryan Contact-Induced Change in a Dravidian Dialect

Steven Bonta
Penn State University, Altoona

Abstract. Negombo Fishermen’s Tamil, a dialect of Tamil from coastal Sri Lanka spoken by bilingual Catholic fishermen, exhibits many features of contact-induced change. Based on data collected in the Negombo area during 2000 and 2001, I conclude that Negombo Fishermen’s Tamil has undergone significant amounts of borrowing and grammatical realignment under the influence of Colloquial Sinhala, an unusual instance of South Asian contact-induced change in the direction from Dravidian to Indo-Aryan. This has likely been conditioned by the Catholic religion of the Negombo Fishermen’s Tamil– speaking community within a predominantly Buddhist and Hindu society.

Derogatory Forms of Personal Names in Omani Arabic

Khalsa Al Aghbari
Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

Abstract. This article examines the derogatory variants of personal names in Omani Arabic that adult women use to express exasperation towards their interlocutors in intimate social settings. These variants closely resemble the original names phonetically, but are considered gravely insulting as derogatory or taboo. The article describes the sociocultural functions of such derogatory names, the differences they reveal in the usage of terms of address between the two genders, and their distinctive role in the norms of speaking and socializing among women in Oman.

Portrait of the Linguist as a Young Man: Linguistic Fieldwork on Nguna (Vanuatu) in 1966

Albert J. Schütz
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Abstract. This account of linguistic fieldwork on Nguna in Vanuatu sketches the origin of the project, the preparation for the stay, and the adjustments necessary for a young (at the time) American linguist to survive on a small island with 789 Ngunese, a New Zealand missionary couple, and an Australian storekeeper in 1966. Although the methods of collecting language data then were not so different from current ones, in order to highlight the technological differences between the past and the present, I have described how I recorded, stored, and manipulated the data. Then, with the wisdom of hindsight, I discuss what I now perceive as successes and failures. Finally, I discuss how the data collected and analyzed in the 1960s might meet some current standards of language documentation and conservation.


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