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lun. 14/12/2020 Pervasive nominalization in Yukuna, an Arawak language of Colombian Amazonia
Gaïa 123a, Université Lyon 2 + public en ligne
Soutenance de doctorat de : Magdalena Lemus Serrano

This dissertation focuses on Yukuna (ISO 693-3: ycn, Glottocode: yucu1253), an Arawak language of Colombian Amazonia. Yukuna is a definitely endangered, understudied language, spoken by under one thousand speakers in various communities along the Mirití-Paraná River in North-Western Amazonia. This dissertation is organized in two parts. Part I provides a grammar sketch of the language (119pp.), on the basis of a first hand corpus of texts (25000 words, 4,5 hours of recording). Part II provides an in-depth description and discussion of nominalizations and nominalization-based constructions in Yukuna. In this study, I adopt a form to function methodology that establishes the prototype of Noun Phrases as the main tool to identify, categorize and describe nominalizations. Individual constructions are described in terms of the degree to which they match or differ from the language specific features of the NP prototype, in terms of both its internal morphosyntax and external distribution. This method is particularly reliable to identify the distributional and functional expansion of nominalizations, by distinguishing the use of verb forms marked with nominalizing morphology in syntantic positions of NPs (nominalization constructions), from their use in syntactic positions that are not those of NPs. I refer to this latter type of use as nominalization-based constructions, following Post (2011). The results of this methodology applied to Yukuna show that the versatility of Yukuna nominalizations in fact largely conforms to the patterns of functional expansion of nominalizations reported in the literature. The most salient fact about the Yukuna nominalizations is that so many of the cross-linguistically attested uses of nominalizations are simultaneously attested in a single language.

    Membres du jury:
    • Denis Creissels, Professeur Émérite, Université Lumière–Lyon 2 (Président)
    • Françoise Rose, Directrice de Recherches, CNRS (Directrice de thèse)
    • Katharina Haude, Chargée de Recherches, CNRS (examinatrice)
    • Spike Gildea, Professeur, University of Oregon (examinateur)
    • Sonia Cristofaro, Professeure associée, Universita Degli Studi Di Pavia (examinatrice)
    • Rik van Gijn, professeur, University of Leiden (examinateur)
    Pré-rapporteurs :
    • Sonia Cristofaro, Professeure associée, Universita Degli Studi Di Pavia (examinatrice)
    • Patience Epps, Professeure, University of Austin in Texas

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