By by Susan Smythe Kung.
This dissertation is a accomplished description of the grammar of Huehuetla Tepehua (HT), that's a member of the Totonacan language kinfolk. HT is spoken via fewer than 1500 humans in and round the city of Huehuetla, Hidalgo, within the japanese Sierra Madre mountains of the vital Gulf Coast sector of Mexico. This grammar starts with an creation to the language, its language family members, and its environment, in addition to a short background of my touch with the language. The grammar keeps with an outline of the phonology of HT, by way of morphosyntactic and syntactic description of all the significant components of speech, together with verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and numbers; the grammar concludes with an outline of the sentence-level syntax. A compilation of interlinearized texts looks within the appendix. HT is a polysynthetic, head-marking language with complicated verbal morphology. Inflectional affixes contain either prefixes and suffixes for which a templatic development is tough to version. as well as inflectional and derivational morphology, HT verbs also are host to quite a few aspectual derivational morphemes, every one of which alters the that means of the verb in a truly particular method. Plural marking on either nouns and verbs for any 3rd individual argument is not obligatory and made up our minds by means of an animacy hierarchy, that's extensively utilized to figure out verbal argument marking in a number of morphosyntactic structures. HT nouns are thoroughly unmarked for case, and likely nouns, together with kinship phrases and elements of a complete, are obligatorily possessed. The order of the most important elements is pragmatically decided, with an inclination in the direction of VSO order within the absence of pragmatic or contextual clues and SVO order in context-rich textual examples. HT is an under-documented moribund language that's at impending hazard of extinction in the subsequent two-to-three generations. hence, this dissertation is an enormous contribution not just to the sphere of linguistics, but in addition to the Tepehua those who may someday have an interest within the language in their grandparents. Read more...
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Additional info for A descriptive grammar of Huehuetla Tepehua
The town of Huehuetla is a Tepehua island surrounded by a sea of Otomí. Outside the Huehuetla Municipio boundaries, going east towards the Gulf Coast, both Totonac and Nahuatl are spoken. Many of the older Tepehua men who had left Huehuetla to work (and then returned) were multilingual in Totonac, Otomí, Tepehua, and—of course—Spanish. However, I did not meet an HT speaker who claimed to know Nahuatl, too. The HT autonyms are Maqalhqama7 [maqaqama] ‘Tepehua people’ and Lhiimaqalhqama7 [imaqaqama] ‘Tepehua language’.
A discourse-centered approach to research is a crucial component of descriptive linguistic research because one-on-one elicitation does not produce naturally occurring speech. Illustration 9: Participant Observer: The Linguist (left) and Dance Partner, Dressed as “Huehues” for Mardi Gras (Carnaval) 2001 However, I quickly learned that it is very difficult to be a participantobserver when all anyone was interested in doing was observing me. With my fair, freckled skin and my strawberry blond hair, I stood out like a sore thumb in the indigenous community.
In the early afternoons, there was a period of about two hours that fell after most of the chores were done but before the children came home from school. During these two hours, the whole town was very peaceful, and the adults were resting. This was the best time of the day for me to go visiting other people in the community in search of HT consultants. Thus, most afternoons, don 17 Nicolás and I would venture out into the town to record texts and word lists with various community members. In addition to transcribing and translating texts with don Nicolás, I also conducted straight lexical and grammatical elicitation with him, often involving one to three additional HT speakers in the sessions.