Subordinate clauses, switch-reference, and tail-head linkage in Cavineña narratives

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Tail-head linkage is a discourse pattern which consists in repeating, at the beginning of a new sentence, the main verb of the preceding sentence for discourse cohesion. This pattern, which is rarely discussed in general typological work, is widespread in certain areas of the globe, in particular Papua New Guinea. In this paper, I report a case of tail-head linkage in Cavineña, an Amazonian language spoken in the northern lowlands of Bolivia, in which it is manifested by way of three subordinate clause types: two temporal adverbial clauses and a relative clause used adverbially. I also show how the switch-reference system that is associated with certain of these clauses participates in the tail-head linkage system for participant coherence between sentences.


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