The evolution of grammatical nominalizations in Cahita languages

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This paper studies the evolution of grammatical nominalizations in Cahita languages (Tehueco, Yaqui, and Mayo, from the Uto-Aztecan family) and also addresses the problem of the relation between nominalization and relativization in this kind of language. The analysis shows that as part of this evolution, the source of grammatical nominalizers is mainly postpositional in Cahita, and that an old agent nominalizer with tempo-aspectual restrictions (suffix -(’)u) has now become a new patient nominalizer. This change clearly demonstrates that the referential function associated with this grammatical nominalization is prior to the noun-modifying function, showing that in Cahita relativization has to be considered as merely one specialized function of nominalization, namely the modifying function of an appositive grammatical nominalization.


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