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ven. 11/10/2019 Séminaire DTT
Irrealis in Nomatsigenga (Kampa-Arawak)

Antonio Castillo Ramirez (University of Sonora, Mexique)
14h-16h
ISH - salle André Frossard

Many languages of the world show a morphological distinction between realized (i.e. realis) and unrealized (i.e. irrealis) events. Some proposals reject the typological validity of the realis and irrealis categories (e.g. Bybee et al 1994, Cristofaro 2012) due to 1) the heterogeneity of their application in the languages of the world (i.e. what is marked as realis in one language can be marked as irrealis in another) and 2) the multifunctionality of the irrealis (e.g. future, imperative, negative, counterfactual, conditional, etc.), which would suggest that this category does not have a nuclear meaning and, therefore, its psychological reality would not be justified. In this talk, I will describe the irrealis category in Nomatsigenga (not), a Kampa language of the Arawak language family, spoken in the Selva Central area of Peru by some 4000 individuals. First, I will offer an overview of the morphophonological phenomena involved in the affixation of the irrealis markers. Second, I will present the constructions that exhibit irrealis marking (i.e. that express unrealized events). Finally, I will provide a brief discussion on the arguments that some linguists use to reject the validity of the irrealis and how those are irrelevant in the light of the Nomatsigenga data. As will be seen, the irrealis markers in Nomatsigenga cover the cross-linguistically expected range of what is defined as "unrealized event".


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