Non-finite chain-medial clauses on the continuum of finiteness in Purepecha

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On the continuum of finiteness that can characterize clauses, Purepecha is one of the languages in which the predicates of both independent and dependent clauses are usually finite. Some non-finite dependent clauses have been observed. The predicate is converted to a non-finite form by means of the non-finite marker -ni, without independent specification of tense or aspect. The use of non-finite clauses in clause-chaining, especially chain-medial clauses in narratives, is a phenomenon that appears to be frequent. Its primary function is to maintain event coherence. Reference tracking is almost always possible, but in specific contexts a new reference may be introduced in non-finite chain-medial clauses (participant discontinuity). Temporal continuity is generally attested, although some exceptions have been found with utterance predicates. Non-finite chain-medial clauses seem to display more finiteness features than the other non-finite clauses. In this paper, I describe and discuss in detail the uses of non-finite chain-medial clauses and the position of these non-finite clauses on the continuum of finiteness in Purepecha.


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