Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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This article proposes that the divergent pattern of verb argument marking found in object focus clauses in the Tuparian branch of the Tupian family comes from the reanalysis of an object nominalization in a cleft construction. Based on the distribution of free and bound person markers, the major alignment pattern can be characterized as nominative-absolutive in simple clauses, with free pronouns expressing the nominative, whereas bound person markers express the absolutive. However, object focus clauses show a distinct alignment pattern: the ergative, and not the absolutive, is indexed by the bound markers on the verb. We present arguments for identifying the object nominalization as the source of this grammar in the object focus clause, showing also how this reanalysis resulted in the nominalizer morpheme and the person markers gaining new functions.


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