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Augmentative in Toba (Guaycuruan)

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the morphosyntactic and semantic aspects of the augmentative forms in the Toba language (Guaycuruan family), spoken in the Gran Chaco region (Argentina). The study of the forms linked to the notion of augmentative in this language comprises both derivational morphology and nominal composition, and embodies a great range of meanings from ‘big size’, ‘abundance’, ‘intensity’ or ‘affection’ to the (generally pejorative) notions of ‘excess’ or ‘mockery’. Augmentative forms also play a role as a source of lexical creation and as a nominal categorization device. Furthermore, in the ethnobiological lexicon, they constitute a preferred means in word formation for naming animals and plants, and they code meanings such as ‘hierarchy’ (‘more dangerous’ or ‘with outstanding qualities’) or ‘anomaly’ (‘stranger/ unknown/ unusual’). Keywords: Toba; Guaycuruan; augmentative; evaluative morphology; kinship compounds

References

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