The diachrony of Ute case-marking

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This paper deals with Ute case-marking and its reconstructed diachrony, demonstrating once again that synchronic data from a single language can serve, via Internal Reconstruction (IR) and a theoretically informed approach to grammaticalization, to reconstruct older diachronic states. The synchronic data of object and genitive marking in Ute yields sufficient clues to reconstruct two or even three layers of older object and/or genitive markin. The persistent connection between object and genitive points to several cycles of clausal (or VP) nominalization, a well-documented phenomenon in Northern Uto-Aztecan (Numic, Takic, Yaqui, Tarrahumara, Huichol). The post-positional markings of indirect objects in Ute are also surveyed, showing that the vast majority of them are verb-derived, through patterns that are consonant with serial-verb constructions elsewhere.


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